FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
#1 SJC 84, #4 SUFFOLK 51
STANDISH, Maine – Top-seeded Saint Joseph's College (27-0) toppled #4 Suffolk University (19-8), 84-51, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Basketball Tournament Semifinal at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday night.
With the victory Saint Joseph's advances to the GNAC Championship game for the fourth-consecutive season and will host the winner of the #2 Albertus Magnus / #1 Emmanuel College semifinal, which will start at 7:00 PM tonight in Boston.
The Monks have now won 51-consecutive home games, the longest home winning streak in SJC Athletics history, topping the previous mark of 50 set by the men's basketball team in the mid-1990's.
With a three-pointer at the 4:47 mark of the third quarter, senior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) became the first player in SJC women's basketball history to reach the 2,000-point mark. Already Monks' all-time leading scorer, McNamara entered the game 18 points shy of the milestone and hit it on the nose with the unassisted three-ball midway through the third frame.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph's opened the contest with nine unanswered points and held a 21-8 cushion after shooting 50% (9-18) from the floor in the first quarter. Suffolk was just 3-for-15 (20%) from the field in the first frame.
The Rams posted a 10-4 run to start the second quarter, cutting their deficit to 25-18 with 5:28 before the break. The Monks responded with a 17-5 burst – which included four three-pointers – and held a 42-25 lead going into intermission.
St. Joe's proceeded to put the game out of reach in the third quarter, as the Monks outscored the Rams by a 19-8 margin in the penultimate period en route to securing a 61-33 cushion. Saint Joseph's went on to claim a game-high 38-point (78-40) lead after senior guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) hit a three-pointer with 3:55 left in the fourth.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Monks scored 24 points off 19 Suffolk turnovers...St. Joe's outrebounded the Rams by a 49-30 margin and held a 20-5 advantage in points in the paint…The hosts made 11-of-26 shots from beyond the arc while the visitors hit just two shots from deep on nine attempts.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Marks led all players with 20 points and added five rebounds, four steals, and three assists
- McNamara tallied 18 points, six assists, five boards, and a pair of steals
- Senior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 caroms and was 7-for-11 from the field
- Freshman Alyson Fillion (Bedford, N.H.) came of the bench to score 13 points off a 5-for-7 shooting effort, including a 3-for-4 bid from deep
- Senior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, and three steals
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Freshman guard Allie Lopes (Scituate, Mass.) paced the Rams with 13 points and added four rebounds and four assists
- Sophomore guard Jenni-Rose DiCecco (Falmouth, Mass.) chipped in with six points, five assists, and seven rebounds
- Freshman guard Natalie Fraioli (Sutton, Mass.) came off the bench to net eight points off a 4-for-5 shooting performance
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 15-7 all-time versus Suffolk University and has now defeated the Rams in eight-consecutive meetings.
Courtesy of SJC Athletics Communications.
#2 EMMANUEL 78, #3 ALBERTUS MAGNUS 72 (OT)
In a thrilling overtime victory, the Emmanuel College women's basketball team took down the Albertus Magnus Falcons in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinal game, led by junior Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda and freshman Riley Lahiff (No. Attleboro, Mass.), on Thursday evening on the Andy Yosinoff Court.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Saints started the game on a high note with a quick four point lead but the Falcons came back quickly to tie the game at four before Maddie McLaughlin (Westerly, R.I) hit her first triple of the evening to extend the lead, 7-4.
- Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (Cambridge, Mass.) controlled the offense of the Saints for the middle of the first quarter scoring ten points through seven minutes, 22-16, before Jill Johnson (No. Haven, Conn.) stopped the momentum by completing an and-one and Shyla Osmond (New Haven, Conn.) laid in a shot in the paint, tying the game after the first quarter, 25-25.
- The beginning of the second quarter was a defensive juggernaut for both sides until freshman duo Riley Lahiff (No. Attleboro, Mass.) And Arina Ovchinnikova (Moscow, Russia) combined for a quick six points to bring the Saints into half ahead, 39-34.
- EC came out of break hot with a quick six points to extend the lead, 45-38, before Johnson completed yet another and-one and Osmond sunk a triple to close the lead back to three, 47-44.
- The Falcons took the lead for the first time with three minutes and seven seconds in the third as Osmond connected on an off balance jumper with no time on the shot clock, 52-50, but the Saints' were able to stay collected and tie the game back to head into the final quarter, 56-56.
- Albertus was able to take their largest lead of game, 56-50, as Osmond and Johnson combined for four unanswered points, but a hard drive by Kayla Weavers (West Haven, Conn.) and offensive rebound turned layup by Ramirez-Tejeda tied the game 60-60 with 4:40 remaining in regulation.
- The Saints used late game fouls by the Falcons to their advantage and scored eight straight points within two minutes, highlighted by interior play by Mary McCarthy (Scituate, Mass.), Lahiff and Ramirez-Tejeda, 64-60.
- The final two minutes of play continued to be a battle as both sides connected on late game baskets forcing extra time, 66-66.
- Andreah Orr (Danbury, Conn.) of the Falcons scored the first basket in overtime, but EC's defensive hold led by Lahiff and McCarthy, along with offensive play by Lahiff and Ramirez-Tejeda pushed the Saints to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference final, 78-72.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Jill Johnson was the game leader with 27 points and four rebounds for the Falcons, but Ramirez-Tejeda of the Saints completed another double-double with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
- Freshman Riley Lahiff came off the bench for the Saints and made an immediate impact with matching a career-high 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
- The Saints will be heading to the top seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Saturday, February 23rd to battle for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship title in a 1PM matchup.
Courtesy of EC Athletics Communications.