FEBRUARY 24 | 4:00 PM
BOSTON – The Suffolk women's basketball team took care of business in the GNAC semis, upsetting second seed Emmanuel, 73-68, to seal up a spot in the championship contest. The Rams title hunt pits the third seed against regular-season and undefeated Saint Joseph's (Maine) Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at the Monks' Harold Alfond Center in Standish, Maine.
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2018 GNAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Feb. 20
Game 1: #1 Saint Joseph's (Maine) defeated #8 Mount Ida, 83-54
Game 2: #5 Albertus Magnus defeated #4 Regis, 51-49
Game 3: #3 Suffolk defeated #6 Johnson & Wales, 68-46
Game 4: #2 Emmanuel defeated #7 Norwich, 79-52
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 22
Game 5: #1 Saint Joseph's (Maine) defeated #5 Albertus Magnus, 78-65
Game 6: #3 Suffolk defeated #2 Emmanuel, 73-68
Championship – Saturday, Feb. 24
Game 7: #3 Suffolk at #1 Saint Joseph's (Maine) - 1 PM
LAST TIME OUT
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.
In the midst of its 23rd consecutive GNAC postseason appearance, the Rams have clinched a spot in their fifth conference title game, first since 2013 and second as the field's third seed.
Suffolk looks to hoist the conference crown for the first time as it clashes with Saint Joseph's for all the glory for the first time.
Overall, there have been seven tournament title games featuring the first and third seed. In those contests there was just one upset coming in 2015 as the third-seeded Wildcats of Johnson & Wales took down conference powerhouse, first-seeded Emmanuel, 74-66.
Suffolk (21-6) accomplished something that only one team in the program's history has down before Thursday night, defeat Emmanuel. The Rams history making 73-68 victory over the Saints is the first since 2008 for the blue-and-gold and sends Suffolk to its fifth GNAC Championship contest.
The trifecta of Georgia Bourikas, Jenni-Rose DiCecco and Alexis Hackett has been instrumental in Suffolk's success this season. The three, who all average over double figures in scoring, combines for 39.7 ppg, which is nearly 57.6 percent of the Rams 68.9 ppg team total. DiCecco leads the way with 14.2 ppg with Bourikas falling in a close second at 14.1 ppg, while Hackett's 11.4 ppg rounds out the trio.
Hackett is the main ingredient to Suffolk's 42.3 rpg as the sophomore, who has 13 double-doubles to her credit this season, grabs 11.1 rpg. Bourikas adds 6.6 rpg to the Rams' 42.3 rpg with Jordan Hipwell and DiCecco contributing 5.9 rpg and 5.2 rpg, respectively, to the effort.
Top-seeded Saint Joseph's made 14 of 20 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to take down No. 5 Albertus Magnus in the GNAC semifinals Thursday night.
With the victory, the Monks 25th straight, SJC advances to the GNAC Championship for the third consecutive season and fourth time in the last five seasons.
The Monks last and lone loss this season came to Babson Nov. 17 by a score of 81-64. In conference play, meanwhile, SJC has not fallen since surprise 66-61 setback to Rivier Feb. 11, 2017, to head into Saturday with a 23-game win streak against league foes.
Offensively as a team, SJC puts in 76.3 ppg as four different players provide double figures paced by Kelsi McNamara's 18.5 ppg. Julia Champagne (13.0 ppg), Emily Benway (12.4 ppg) and Hannah Marks (10.7 ppg) complete the foursome.
Defensively, the Monks grab 40.9 rpg with Benway's 7.0 rpg serving as the team's best threat on the boards. Champagne and Regan McFerrran add 5.7 rpg and 5.2 rpg, respectively, to the effort.
WE MEET AGAIN
St. Joseph's swept the regular season series with Suffolk this season.
In the first meeting, the Monks put together a comeback in the final frame to stun the Rams, 82-79, in Boston. In the last meeting, Feb. 6 in Maine, Suffolk was handled by SJC, 73-45.
MORE READING: Women's Basketball Slips to Saint Joseph's, 82-79
MORE READING: Saint Joseph's (Maine) Routs Women's Basketball, 73-45
Suffolk trails the all-time series with Saint Joseph's, 7-9, after the Monks took both regular season matchups over the Rams this season.
The blue-and-gold has fallen to the Monks in five consecutive meetings and look for its second-ever victory over SJC in Maine.
In the tournament, Suffolk and St. Joe's have clashed twice in 2011 and 2013. The Rams beat the Monks in both meetings.
The winner of the contests receives the conference's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The bracket for the Big Dance will be announced Monday, Feb. 26 via web stream on NCAA.com.