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Despite Tough Loss, Canton Native Excels for St. Francis Brooklyn Women's Basketball Team

By Brian D. Morales, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, St. Francis

Easton, Pennsylvania — After a slow start to begin the contest, the St. Francis Brooklyn women's basketball team narrowly completed the comeback but a last-chance three pointer with one second left was off the mark as the Terriers fell to the Lafayette College Leopards, 66-63, in Easton, Pennsylvania on Friday evening.

St. Francis Brooklyn (2-8) sophomore guard Sarah Benedetti led the Terrier offense, scoring a career-high 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. The Canton, Connecticut native came within one three-pointer of tying her own school record (which she set against Robert Morris in Moon Township), finishing 6-of-7 from long range in 33 minutes of action. Sarah is also top scorer for her team with 127 points after 10 games and is 11th in the North East Conference (NEC). She is also 1st in the NEC in 3-pointers made with 31. 

Junior guard Jasmin Robinson added 13 points off the bench, finishing 5-of-11 from the field.

Lafayette (4-7) had four players finish in double figures. Danielle Fiacco was the leading scorer, recording 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting while falling one rebound short of a double-double. Emily Homan secured a double-double, as she finished with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting and hauled in 12 rebounds in the victory. Brya Freeland and Jamie O'Hare finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

For much of the second half, the Terriers remained close with Lafayette, cutting the deficit to one, 35-34 at the 17:10 mark after Robinson's layup attempt rattled in. The Leopards held the Terriers off the board over the next three minutes, as they extended back to double-digits, 44-34, in part to a 9-0 run capped by a mid-range jumper from Fiacco. The lead ballooned back to 12, 56-44, at the 6:53 mark after Fiacco completed the three-point play.

St. Francis Brooklyn was able to cut the deficit to four after Benedetti recorded four straight points for the visitors. Benedetti extended her consecutive made free-throw streak to 14 straight as she hit both attempts with thirty-four seconds left in the game.

With thirteen seconds left in regulation, St. Francis Brooklyn fouled Fiacco, who converted one-of-two from the line. The Terriers, out of timeouts, ran the length of the court as sophomore guard Katie Fox dribbled the ball high on the wing and dished it off to classmate Eilidh Simpson, who spotted up and connected on the three, cutting the lead back to three, 66-63, with five seconds to go.

St. Francis Brooklyn immediately fouled on the inbounds possession. Lafayette's Maddie Peabody had a chance to ice the game as the Terriers were over the foul limit. Peabody's two free-throws fell short and the Terriers had one shot to send the game into overtime.

The basketball was coralled by freshman Leah Fechko, who launched a pass down the court that found the hands of Simpson behind the three-point line at the top of the key. Simpson's shot rattled off the iron as time expired.

The Leopards erupted on an 11-0 run and led by as many as 17 points in the first half, 23-6, at the 8:09 mark as Homan was able to convert on the jumper in the lane. St. Francis Brooklyn was able to retaliate as they sparked a 17-2 run of their own over the next five minutes as they trailed by just three, 26-23, as Benedetti's hot three-point shooting got the Terriers back in the contest. Lafayette closed out the stanza on a 7-2 run to take a 33-25 lead into the locker room.

St. Francis Brooklyn finished the game shooting 35.5 percent from the field (22-of-62) while hitting on 10-of-25 from beyond (40 percent), thanks in large part to Benedetti's hot-shooting. Lafayette shot 40.0 percent from the field (24-of-60) while the Terriers' defense held the Leopards to just 17.6 percent from the outside. The Leopards out-rebounded the Terriers 45-39 while the Terriers were able to swipe eight steals in the contest.

St. Francis Brooklyn will be off for the Christmas break before remaining on the road as they gear up for Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on December 29th. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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