BOSTON – The Suffolk women's basketball team outlasted Johnson & Wales, 67-60, Saturday afternoon inside Regan Gymnasium to remain unbeaten in GNAC action.
SCORE: Suffolk 67 | Johnson & Wales 60
RECORDS: Suffolk (12-4, 4-0 GNAC) | Johnson & Wales (3-14, 2-2 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening action looked like ping-pong as the teams traded hoops over the first three minutes. Johnson & Wales hoop that got the game going came from behind-the-arc from Ally Mishol kept the visitors in front 8-7.
A pair of freebies from Alexis Hackett put the Rams in front for the first time on the day, but the Wildcats regained the advantage on their next possession. Suffolk had to play catch up once again and used another set of free throws, this time from Jenni-Rose DiCecco, to knot the playing field at 14-all. Dede Stevenson swished a left elbow jumper as time expired in the first quarter that kept the visitors lead intact, 16-14.
Momentum from Stevenson's late bucket carried into the beginning of the second stanza as JWU built a six-point cushion. DiCecco coupled back-to-back layups together to trim the margin back to two, 22-20. The Wildcats looked to slow down Suffolk with a timeout, but Natalie Fraioli came in and convert on a layup of her own to even things at 22-22 with 5:34 left before half time.
See-saw action put the Rams in a five-point, 33-28, hole with just over two minutes to go before the break. Fraioli scored four quick points to make it a one-point game. The Wildcats beat out the shot clock with 12 seconds on the clock to send the blue-and-gold into the locker room down 35-32.
Out of half time, Allie Lopes buried a long ball and the freshman followed that with a traditional three-point to swing the game in Suffolk's favor 38-35. From there the score leveled twice and the lead swapped four times with 30 seconds left on the clock in the third as Hackett's driving layup sent Suffolk into the final frame up 49-47.
The Rams put a five-point distance between themselves in the Wildcats early on in the final frame. The deficit would not be enough as JWU flipped the switch in its favor, 56-55, with an 8-3 run at the 6:16 minute mark.
A back-door give-and-go from Shannon Smith to Hackett put the blue-and-golf ahead by one and the hosts went on to build their largest lead of the day, 63-56, with 3:32 to go.
The Rams managed to maintain the margin the rest of the way to lock up the victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Hackett paved the way offensively and defensively for the Rams with an 18-point, 15-rebound effort. The junior added four dimes, three steals and three swats.
- DiCecco was one-point shy of Hackett's output with 17 points to go with six rebounds, four takeaways and three helpers.
- Lopes rounded out the trio of Rams in double figures with a 12-point performance as a reserve. She was a key threat behind-the-arc, going 2-for-4 downtown. She also chipped in four boards, two steals and one assist.
- Suffolk shot 37.1 percent (23-62) from the field, 31.3 percent (5-16) from three-point range and 66.7 percent (16-24) from the foul line.
- The Rams outrebounded the Wildcats, 41-40.
- Suffolk started GNAC action 4-0 for the second straight season.
- The Rams defeated JWU for the third straight meeting to move to 19-8 all-time against the Wildcats.
- Hackett notched her seventh double-double of the season and 22nd of her career.
Suffolk remains in the friendly confines of Regan Gymnasium Tuesday, Jan. 22 when it welcomes Regis to Beacon Hill for a 7 p.m. matchup.