BOSTON – The fourth-seeded Suffolk women's basketball team maintained its composure down the stretch to defeat fifth-seeded Anna Maria, 68-58, in the GNAC Quarterfinals Tuesday night inside Regan Gymnasium.
SCORE: Suffolk 68 | Anna Maria 58
RECORDS: Suffolk (19-7) | Anna Maria (10-16)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Anna Maria trimmed Suffolk's early 9-6 edge into one-point game out of its own timeout. The Rams ran away from there scoring nine straight points to close out the opening quarter and build an 18-8 cushion.
The AMCATS responded to Suffolk's spurt with an 8-2 run of its own to open the second stanza and cut the blue-and-gold's lead to four, 20-16, with 5:03 to play before intermission.
Jordan Hipwell and Marissa Gudauskas took matters into their own hands to secure double-digit distance for the hosts once again, 32-16. Hipwell used power lay-ups and free throws to contribute six points to the stretch, while Gudauskas knocked down a pair of triples.
Anna Maria closed out the first half with five unanswered points to slice Suffolk's advantage to 11, 32-21, at the break.
The deficit shrunk back to single digits as the AMCATS put away the first hoop of the third quarter. Suffolk held the visitors there as Hipwell and Gudauskas teamed up again to stretch the Rams' cushion to 15, 34-28, at the 3:58-minute mark.
Suffolk's advantage dwindled over the final three minutes as Anna Maria strung together a 12-5 spurt to make it an eight-point game, 50-42, with the final 10 minutes to play.
The Rams offense was limited to just one field goal and free throws over the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, which allowed the AMCATs to play catch and even the score at 57-all with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.
Jenni-Rose DiCecco took over out of a blue-and-gold timeout. The sophomore turned a traditional three-point play, scored a lay-up on Suffolk's next possession and put away a pair of freebies to regain a six-point edge, 64-57, with 36.1 left.
Suffolk locked up the win from the free throw line, going 4-for-4, over the final 30 seconds to punch its spot in the semifinals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Gudauskas led a quartet of Rams in double figures with 20 points. The senior shot 6-for-11 from the field including 4-for-9 from downtown and 4-for-4 at the charity stripe.
- DiCecco registered 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half and 13 alone in the fourth frame. The floor general set-up six shots and pulled down eight rebounds.
- Hipwell contributed a double-double effort of 12 points and 11 caroms.
- Gabriella DeComo completed the foursome in double digits with 11 behind a 4-for-9 performance from the floor, which included a 2-for-4 showing from three-point range.
- Suffolk shot 38.8 percent (19-49) from the floor, just 24.0 percent (6-25) from behind-the-arc and 88.9 percent (24-27) from the line.
- The Rams won the battle on the glass, 39-29.
- Suffolk made its 24th appearance in the GNAC Tournament.
- The Rams met Anna Maria for the first time in the conference postseason.
- The blue-and-gold remain unbeaten all-time versus the AMACTS (9-0).
- Suffolk advances to the league's semifinals for the second straight season and 11th time overall.
- Hipwell hit her sixth double-double of her collegiate career, fourth of the season and first since Jan. 31, 2019 at Pine Manor.
Suffolk continues its journey for GNAC glory Thursday, Feb. 21 when it tips off in the league's semifinals. The Rams opponent and location of the tilt will be determined following the conclusion of all quarterfinal contests.