BOSTON – Playing its season-opener on its home hardwood for just the third time in program history, Suffolk women's basketball put on a winning performance in front of Rams Nation as the Rams took down Keene State, 59-50, at the Larry E. and Michael S. Smith Court Friday night.
SCORE: Suffolk 59 | Keene State 50
RECORDS: Suffolk (1-0) | Keene State (0-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk struggled from the field early on, going scoreless from the field to sit in an 8-1 hole with three minutes eliminated from the first frame. Ed Leyden used a 30-second timeout to talk things through and the huddle paid off as Jenni-Rose DiCecco turned an Owls' turnover into a fast-break layup and the blue-and-gold's first field goal at the 6:33 minute mark.
The junior would be the only one to score the remainder of the first 10 minutes, however, and the Rams trailed 12-8 as time expired on the opening quarter.
Another scoring lull hit the hosts in the beginning of the second stanza. Gabriella DeComo started to lit a fire for the Rams as the junior jump started a 10-0 Rams run that push Suffolk ahead 20-17 with just under two minutes left before half time.
Keene State foul trouble paid out in the blue-and-gold's favor as the hosts converted five of its seven final trips the charity stripe and Emily Welling added a turnaround jumper over that stretch to send Suffolk into half time ahead 27-18.
DiCecco registered the first bucket out of the locker room before Keene State spiraled on a 6-0 stretch that sliced the deficit to five, 29-25. A DeComo triple did not slow down the Owls that used a traditional three-point play by Jordyn Burke that made it a one-position game, 32-29, four minutes into the third quarter.
A pair of freebies from DiCecco followed by a pair of jump shots – one inside the arc followed by one behind it – by DeComo reclaimed a double-digit distance, 39-29, for the hosts 1:17 later.
A standstill ensued as neither team found the netting for nearly three minutes. In the final 1:34 the teams traded hoops and Suffolk hung onto the advantage after 30 minutes, 41-35.
The Rams remained ahead by double figures, 49-39, at the midway point of the final frame as DeComo buried her second bucket from downtown on the night.
Despite full-court pressure from the visitors, the blue-and-gold's composure paid off and it held onto its season-opening victory.
- DiCecco registered 25 points on a 7-for-9 showing from the floor and 9-for-10 showing the line. She added five assists, five steals and four caroms to her stat line.
- DeComo had a stand-up showing of 16 points, shooing 5-for-11 from the field, 3-for-6 from the behind-the-arc and 3-for-4 at the foul line to go along with four boards, two steals, one assist and one block.
- Alexis Hackett pulled down 10 rebounds, five on the offensive and defensive ends, respectively, and added two handouts, two points and one takeaway.
- Welling tallied nine boards and four points off the bench.
- Suffolk shot 31.6 percent (18-57) from the floor and remained in the game for its 69.2 connection rate (18-26) at the free throw line.
- The Rams outrebounded the Owls, 40-35.
- Suffolk is opening its scheduled on its home hardwood for the second straight season and third time overall.
- The Rams and Keene State met in the blue-and-gold's season debut for the first time.
- Suffolk opens its season in the win column for the first time since 2016 and 19th time overall.
- The Rams improved to 19-18 on day one of the year.
- Suffolk moved to 15-11 in season openers in the Ed Leyden era.
- The victory marks the first time in program history that the Rams began the season in the win column when opening the year at home. Suffolk moved to 1-2 in season debuts on its home court.
- Suffolk bested Keene for the first time in program history, improving to 1-2 versus the Owls.
- Welling matched a personal-best nine caroms.
- DeComo matched a career-high 16 points and set a new personal-best in three-point field goals made (3).
- Skylar Rojik made her Suffolk debut and Alli Cavallo appeared in her first collegiate contest.
- Lauren Hill produced a career-high two steals and matched a personal-high two rebounds.
Suffolk has a quick turnaround as it its set for its first road test of the year tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 9 at Western New England. Game time in Springfield is scheduled for 1 p.m.