MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team hung with the ninth-ranked team in the nation on Wednesday evening before losing to Saint Anselm College, 79-62, during both teams' Northeast-10 Conference openers in Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. The Hawks, who advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, received their preseason national ranking from D2SIDA.
- Saint Michael's (2-1, 0-1 NE10), Saint Anselm (3-0, 1-0 NE10)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Senior Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford), 17 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, 7-for-10 field goals
- Junior Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep), 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
- Senior Alyssa Breunig (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull), 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 3-for-6 three-pointers
- Sophomore Nicole Ladas (Glastonbury, Conn./Tilton School), 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3-for-6 field goals
- Senior Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth), 6 rebounds, 2 blocks
- Senior Shannon Ryan, 31 points, 21 rebounds, 2 blocks, 13-for-19 field goals
- Junior Peyton Steinman, 16 points, 7 rebounds, 8-for-10 free throws
- First-year Macy Spinks, 14 points, 11 assists
- Senior Sara Messler, 8 points, 3 assists
- Junior Grace Guachione, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
- Saint Anselm advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
- The Hawks' national ranking is according to D2SIDA.
- Purcell, who entered the game ranked first in Division II in assists per game (13.0), already has one triple-double to her name this year and has approached two more in the Purple Knights' other pair of contests.
- Purcell pushed her career assist total to 303, vaulting into a tie with Becky Bouchard '85 for 12th in program history. She passed Debbie Burke '87 (301) and Anne Marie McLoughlin '91 (302) during the game.
- Saint Michael's shot better from three-point range (38.9%-33.3%) and held a 6-2 edge in blocks while being narrowly outgained in shooting (40.3%-36.4%) and rebounding (48-41) by one of the nation's top 10 teams. Saint Anselm committed 10 turnovers to the Purple Knights' 12.
- The Purple Knight bench outscored Saint Anselm's, 13-3.
- Three different Hawks combined to score the game's first seven points, and Saint Anselm led 11-2 by 5:43 of the opening quarter.
- The teams were nearly even for the remainder of the half, with Saint Michael's holding a 10-9 edge over the final leg of the first period before the Hawks posted an 18-15 advantage in the second stanza.
- With the Purple and Gold down 20-9 after a Ryan three-point play at 2:17, senior Cassandra Falone's (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) triple capped a 6-0 run 12 seconds into the second quarter, and two Breunig threes 60 seconds apart finished off a 7-2 spurt that brought the visitors within 26-22 by 6:42.
- After Anderson's jumper created a 28-24 margin, the Hawks extended their lead to 22 thanks to a 23-5 run that spanned halftime. Steinman scored eight of the points.
- Purcell had a jumper and two assists during an 8-2 run that trimmed the deficit to 57-41 by 2:27.
- Five straight points by Spinks sparked a 7-2 response, but Anderson scored five points in a 10-0 run that carried into the fourth quarter, and Saint Michael's was down 64-53 with 6:30 to go.
- Ryan turned in a pair of three-point plays during a 10-2 run that later pushed the lead to 19 with 2:32 left.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Saturday against Felician (N.J.) University, 2 p.m. during Dominican (N.Y.) College's Regina Rivera Memorial Tournament