SATURDAY, NOV. 10 // 1:00 PM
BOSTON – Suffolk women's basketball lifts the lid on its 36th season Saturday, Nov. 10 when the Rams entertain Western New England inside Regan Gymnasium at 1 p.m.
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Suffolk put together one of the most successful seasons in the Rams' 35-year history highlighted by a GNAC Championship run. During the Rams' 24th consecutive conference tournament trip, they defeated Emmanuel for the second-time in program history and first in the league's postseason after defeating Johnson & Wales in the quarterfinals to seal their third 20-win season. Suffolk wrapped up the year with the most victories (21) since 2013-14, tied the program record for conference triumphs (12-14) and put together the longest win streak (10) since 2001-02.
STARTING FIVE: QUICK HITS ON THE UPCOMING SEASON
Days before the official tip-off of Suffolk's 2018-19 slate, GoSuffolkRams.com gave Ram Nation a quick glimpse at five hot topics to watch for in the 36th edition of Suffolk's women's hoops. Click the link below for your chance at checking out the five things to keep an eye out for this season.
MORE READING: Starting Five: Women's Basketball's 36th Season
BACK AT IT
Headlining the core returners are Jenni-Rose DiCecco and Alexis Hackett. DiCecco, the GNAC Rookie of the Year and a NEWBA All-Rookie Team selection last season, posted a team-high 14.6 ppg and 3.9 apg to anchor the Rams' offense. Hackett compliments the sophomore on both ends of the hardwood as the junior averaged a double-double effort of 11.4 ppg and 11.0 rpg.
Sophomore Jordan Hipwell is also back in the line-up after putting together 8.4 ppg and 5.7 rpg her freshman season, while her classmates Mya Blazejowski, Gabriella DeComo and Rachel LaSaracina look to contribute more this year.
IN WITH THE NEW
Head Coach Ed Leyden brought in a trio of freshmen and a pair of transfers to help his 13-man roster. Rookies Natalie Fraioli, Lauren Hill and Emily Welling are set to make their collegiate debuts with juniors Rachel Bonnanzio and Samari Winklaar appearing as Rams for the first time in their careers as well.
Suffolk's 13-player roster represents four different states with the bulk of the contingent coming from the Bay State with six Massachusetts natives. Connecticut and New York each have a trio of residents with one student-athlete from Rhode Island.
The Rams have a good mix of every class at Suffolk on roster with most of its players (5) belonging to Suffolk's Class of 2021. There are three freshmen and juniors, respectively, and a pair of seniors.
PACING THE SIDELINES
Ed Leyden enters his 25th season as the Rams' head coach. During his tenure, he has coached nine of the 13 members of Suffolk's 1,000-point club and led the Rams to eight ECAC tournament appearances and 24 straight GNAC postseason trips. In 25 total seasons as a collegiate head coach Leyden has amassed 395 career victories including a 386-256 (.598) record at Suffolk.
- Suffolk is 18-17 all-time in season openers and 14-10 under head coach Ed Leyden.
- The Rams look to return to the win column on day one of the season after slipping to Salve Regina last year, 52-50.
- Suffolk will play in front of its home crowd for the first time since
- The Rams and Western New England will meet on day one for the first time.
WATCH AND SEE
Head coach Ed Leyden sat down with GoSuffolkRams.com to preview the Rams' 18-19 campaign. To hear what Leyden had to say and get a glimpse inside the Ram's training session, click the video below.
Coming off a runner-up finish a year ago, the Suffolk women's basketball team was predicted to finish third in 2018-19 the conference announced via the GNAC Coaches' Preseason Poll.
|2018-19 GNAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
1. St. Joseph's (Maine)
5. Colby Sawyer
6. Johnson & Wales
7. Albertus Magnus
10. St. Joseph (Conn.)
13. Anna Maria
- - -
|2017-18 GNAC RECORD
A few days away from trip-off of the 36th season, Suffolk women's basketball coach Ed Leyden unveiled that seniors Marissa Gudauskas and Shannon Smith will share leadership responsibilities in 2018-19 as the Rams co-captains.
Four of Suffolk's games this season will serve as doubleheaders with the Rams' men's team:
- Nov. 10 vs. Western New England
- Jan. 24 vs. Anna Maria
- Feb. 2 vs. Simmons
- Feb. 12 vs. Emmanuel
A year ago, Suffolk went 4-1 when playing the same day inside Regan Gymnasium as the men.
GET TO KNOW THE GOLDEN BEARS
Western New England is coming off a 17-10 season where it reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinals for the fourth consecutive campaign.
Senior captain Meghan Gilhool (7.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg) looks to lead the Golden Bears in her final campaign with help from fellow upperclassman Meghan Orbann, an All-CCC third-team honoree from a year ago after pacing WNE's offense and defense with 9.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg, respectively. Juniors Courtney Carlson (8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Emily Farrell (8.4 ppg).
INSIDE THE SERIES
- Suffolk and Western New England will meet for the 11th time since the series began in 1995-96.
- The Rams lead the all-time meetings, 7-3, with their last wince over the Golden Bears coming Feb. 15, 2017 in a 64-61 decision.
- WNE took the last meeting between the foes in the ECAC Semifinals March 5, 2016, 70-60.
Suffolk will take one days rest before making the short trip across Boston Common Monday, Nov. 12 for a midday game at Emerson. The Veteran Day non-conference contest tips off at 1 p.m.