BOSTON – Four different Rams notched double figures with Georgia Bourikas and Alexis Hackett each contributing double-doubles to push the Suffolk women's basketball team past Emmanuel, 73-68, in the GNAC semifinals Thursday night at the Jean Yawkey Center. The win seals the Rams spot in the GNAC Championship set for Saturday, Feb. 24 at the tournament's top seed Saint Joseph's (Maine).
SCORE: Suffolk 73, Emmanuel 68
RECORDS: Suffolk (21-6) | Emmanuel (20-7)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk climbed out of a 6-2 early hole as Jordan Hipwell, Hackett and Bourikas all wrote their names in the scoreboard with two points apiece to flip the switch and put the visitors ahead, 8-6. Despite the Saints leveling the playing field at the next possession, the Rams remained in front down the stretch to take a 20-14 lead after the first frame.
Emmanuel heated up to open the second stanza rattling off eight unanswered points and holding Suffolk scoreless for the first four minutes to go up, 22-20. Bourikas equalized the contest at 22-all on a lay-up and spark a 9-0 Rams run to give the blue-and-gold a 229-22 cushion. Suffolk's defense limited the Saints to just six points over the final three minutes to second a 33-28 advantage at the half.
After an equal third quarter that kept Suffolk ahead, 49-43, things got interesting. Bourikas and Stephanie Langlais connected on back-to-back layups early in the final quarter to extend the Rams lead to 10.
A traditional three-point play by the Saint's Kayla Weaver jump started a run that saw the hosts close the gap to one over the next three minutes. After Jenni-Rose DiCecco connected on a pair of freebies, Emmanuel evened the score at 57-all thanks to a triple from Madison McLaughlin with 6:03 left in the quarter.
DiCecco responded with a trey of her own 28 seconds later however to keep the Rams in front. Suffolk then went on a 6-2 run with 3:17 remaining in regulation and Emmanuel took a late timeout with the blue-and-gold up 66-59.
Saints made it a one possession game once against behind back-to-back layups until Bourikas took care of business at the charity stripe with a set of free throws with just under two minutes to play in the contest.
The nail bitter ensued as Ryan Maynard drove to the basket with 41 seconds left on the clock to cut Suffolk's advantage to three. Bourikas showed her composure at the line going 3-for-4 to take down Emmanuel, 73-68.
- Bourikas led the way with a game-high 21 points behind a 6-for-19 effort from the floor and a 9-for-10 showing the free throw line. She added 14 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end.
- Hackett also put together a double-double with identical numbers in points and rebounds (13). She shot 50 percent (5-10) from the field, three-point line (1-2) and did not miss on her pair of free throws (2-2).
- DiCecco registered 14 points, 11 of which came over the final 20 minutes, while Hipwell rounded out the Rams in double figures with 11 thanks to a 5-for-8 effort from the field.
- Suffolk held the advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Saints, 45-34.
- Suffolk competed in its 10th GNAC semifinal overall and third versus Emmanuel.
- Suffolk defeated Emmanuel for the second time in program history and first since 2008.
- The win marks the first for the Rams over the Saints in six postseason meetings.
- Suffolk advances to the GNAC championship for the fifth time in its 23rd postseason trip, first time since 2013 and second time as the third seed.
- Bourikas secured her fourth consecutive contest with double figures in points with 10 in the first half. She finished the night with 21, which marks the five game this year with 20 or more points, 21st outing this season with 10 or more points for the Hull, Massachusetts, native.
- Defensively, Bourikas had double digit rebounds for the fifth time to notch her fifth double-double of the season.
- Hackett notched her 13th double-double of the season behind her 18th overall game with double-digit rebounds.
- Hipwell produced 10 or more points for the second straight game and 10th time overall.
- DiCecco registered double figures for the third consecutive contest and 19th game overall.
Suffolk moves onto the GNAC Championship Saturday Feb. 24. The Rams head to Standish, Maine to take on regular-season champion Saint Joseph's (Maine) in a 1 p.m. championship contest.