PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jordan Hipwell poured in a career-high 23 points to lead five Rams in double figures as Suffolk women's basketball took down Johnson & Wales in a 70-67 thriller Thursday night at the Wildcat Center.
SCORE: Suffolk 70, Johnson & Wales 67
RECORDS: Suffolk (14-3, 7-1 GNCA) | Johnson & Wales (10-8, 6-3 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After the scored locked twice, Johnson & Wales built an 11-point margin, 20-9, with 2:42 remaining in the opening frame. Georgia Bourikas and Jenni-Rose DiCecco sandwiched treys around a Wildcats layup to kick start Suffolk's comeback.
Bourikas put away a set freebies away and Hipwell translated a late steal into two points to trim the margin to four, but Raquel Pederzani swished a triple with just 6 seconds left in the stanza to make it a 26-19 JWU game after the first 10 minutes.
Suffolk's carried over into the second as Marissa Gudauskas provided a fresh pair of legs off the bench. The junior turned in a layup and a bucket behind the-arc to cut the deficit to four once again.
The Rams remained on the verge of taking their first lead of the night as Bourikas locked the score at 35-all with the senior pouring in a long ball with 1:40 left in the first half. Britney Gallagher ensured the Wildcats to remain in front with a traditional three-point play, but Hipwell responded with one of her own to make it a tied score once again at 38-38.
With 39 seconds on the clock, Alexis Hackett pulled down the rebound off a missed Sarah Duryea layup. The Rams' junior went the distance and converted the board into two points on the other end to turn the tides in favor of the Rams, 40-38, as the teams headed into the half.
The Wildcats burst out of the break, outscoring the Rams 20-9, over the third set of 10 minutes. After Hipwell put the Rams up 49-44 on a jumper, JWU's powerful turn of events happened over the final 3 minutes of the third quarter with the hosts rattling off 14 unanswered points to gain a 58-49 cushion heading into the final frame.
Determined for the comeback Bourikas got things started with a three. The Wildcats did not let the Rams rally behind the senior's bucket, however, as they put the blue-and-gold in a double figure deficit with 7:05 to play.
Gudauskas had other things in mind, however, as the shooting guard buried a shot beyond-the-arc and followed that with a layup to make it a two-possession game a minute later.
Hackett and DiCecco got in on the three-ball action, scoring one apiece, to cut the margin to two, 65-63. On Suffolk's next possession, DiCecco scored a layup to knot the score at 65-65, before Hipwell gained the edge for the Rams on two foul shots.
Two scoreless minutes passed before Bobbie Whitehead leveled the playing field at 67-all with under a minute to play. Hipwell regained the lead for Suffolk with a layup and both teams headed to their bench for a timeout.
Bobbie Whitehead was whistled for an offensive foul and the Rams headed down the hardwood. JWU took the gamble with sending Hackett to the foul line. The sophomore missed the first, made the second to secure control, 70-67.
Johnson & Wales took another timeout to set up a play and Raquel Pederzani did not make her hail mary attempt for the Rams to hold to the 70-67 win.
- Hipwell's 23 points came off a 9-for-15 showing from the floor and a perfect 5-for-5 effort at the free throw line. The freshman added eight boards, two assists and two steals to her stat line.
- Hackett contributed on both ends of the hardwood with 12 points and 11 caroms, nine of which came on the defensive end. She had both of Suffolk's two blocks along with a pair of steals and one dime.
- Bourikas tallied 15 points, shooting 3-for-6 at the three-point lead.
- DiCecco and Gudauskas each had 10 points to their credit to round out all of Suffolk's scorers.
- Suffolk shot 44.1 percent (26-59) from the field, 34.8 percent (8-23) from three-point range and 83.3 percent (10-12) from the foul line.
- The Wildcats outrebounded the Rams, 35-33.
- Suffolk won its 17th contest over Johnson & Wales.
- Hipwell had her first-ever 20-point performance in her collegiate career with the rookie registering her sixth game in double digits and second straight.
- Hipwell's 23 points are a career-high for the freshman with a career-best nine field goals.
- Bourikas notched her 13th double figure scoring output game of the season.
- Hackett had her ninth double-double of the season behind her 12th game with double figure rebounds and eighth game of scoring 10 or more points.
- Ed Leyden used the starting lineup of DiCecco, Alexandra Nagri, Bourikas, Hackett and Hipwell. That five improved to 14-1.
Suffolk is back in action Saturday, Jan. 26 as it returns home to Regan Gymnasium for a Rams' basketball doubleheader. The women get the action underway at 1 p.m. against conference powerhouse Saints Joseph's (Maine) with the men closing the day at 3 p.m. versus Mount Ida.