Assumption Fends Off Southern Connecticut 76-71

Morgan O'Donnell

THE BASICS:

- Score: Assumption 76, Southern Connecticut 71

- Records: Assumption (11-9, 6-7 NE10), Southern Connecticut (12-9, 6-7 NE10)

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Laska Gymnasium)

- The Lead: Assumption trailed at the half, but battled back to take the lead in the fourth and fought off a tough fourth quarter effort by Southern Connecticut to earn the 76-71 victory.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

-  Morgan O'Donnell (Easton, Mass./Ursuline Academy) scored the first points of the game on an and-one layup to give Assumption an early 3-0 lead. The Hounds extended their lead to eight (10-2) with a 5-0 run at the 6:12 mark. Imani Wheeler for the Owls answered with a three to get the Owls within five. Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter and the final basket went to Wheeler of the Owls with 45 seconds remaining, which left the Hounds with a four-point lead (16-12).

- Southern Connecticut quickly scored in the second quarter to get within two only for the Hounds to go on a 6-0 stretch started by O'Donnell and kept alive by Abby McKanna (Narragansett, R.I./Narragansett) and Meghan Cramb (New Boston, N.H./Bishop Guertin). The Owls tied up the game at 24 following four unanswered points with 3:28 left in the half. With 2:03 left, the Owls took a 29-26 lead with a three by Amanda Pfohl. Assumption took back the lead and scored four straight points only to foul and give the Owls two free throws. The Owls took a 31-30 lead into halftime.

- Pfohl hit a three to start the third quarter and give the Owls a 34-30 lead. The Hounds tied it up with 7:38 remaining and took a 38-36 lead following a Meghan Reen (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) layup. This sparked a 5-0 run for the Hounds which gave them a 43-38 lead with 5:17 left in the third quarter. Assumption ended the quarter with a three by Cramb with two seconds on the clock to give the Hounds a 55-49 lead headed into the final ten minutes of the game.

- The Hounds opened the fourth quarter with nine unanswered points to take a 15-point lead (66-51) with 5:52 left in the game. With 2:25 on the clock, the Owls started a 7-point rally themselves and got within three with just 49 seconds remaining. A pair of Reen free throws put the game at 71-66 with only 40 seconds left to play. At the 33 second mark, the Owls made a three to put the game within two (71-69) before Brianna Capacchione (Washington Township, N.J./Washington Township) made a free throw to give Assumption a three-point (72-69) lead with just 22 seconds on the clock. Both teams traded free throws with Caterina Fonseca (Enfield, Conn./Enfield High School) scoring the final two points to give the Hounds a 76-71 victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- O'Donnell led the Hounds with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists followed by Fonseca with a career-high 11 points. Reen earned her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

- Kiana Steinauer led the game with 30 points and 11 rebounds followed by Pfohl with 20 points. Wheeler earned 15 points and eight assists on the night.

- Assumption shot 60.0 percent from the floor, 50.0 percent from three and 71.4 percent from the foul line and earned 33 rebounds, 19 assists and five steals. Southern Connecticut shot 41.5 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three and 80.0 percent from the free throw line and earned 27 rebounds, 18 assists and 12 steals.

UP NEXT:

- The Hounds are on the road on Saturday, February 2, at Le Moyne at 1 p.m.

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