Suffolk University

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Women's Basketball Advances In GNAC Championships With 72-56 Quarterfinal Victory Over Rivier

2008 Great Northeast Quarterfinals
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Regan Gymnasium, Boston, Mass.


BOSTON, Mass.--  Senior Stephanie Morrissey (Abington, Mass.) and junior Meghan Tracey (Rehoboth, Mass.) each scored 15 points as second-seeded Suffolk used a 25-7 run to open the second half en route to a 72-56 victory over seventh-seeded Rivier in quarterfinal round action of the 2008 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championships Tuesday evening at Regan Gymnasium.

The host Rams, now 19-7 overall, tied the school record for most victories in one season set during the 1999-2000 season and again matched during the 2003-04 campaign with the triumph and advance to Friday’s Great Northeast semi-final round to take on third-seeded Norwich, which dispatched sixth-seeded Saint Joseph’s (Maine) by a 64-54 final in other quarterfinal round action on Tuesday.

In a contest that saw the teams trade the lead six times and forge seven ties en route to a 30-30 deadlock at the break, Suffolk scored 12 of the first 13 points after intermission to take a 42-31 advantage with 14:59 remaining on a jumper by senior Katie Castignetti (Braintree, Mass.).  The hosts continued to build their lead by connecting on nine of their first 11 shots, capping the 25-7 run with a three-pointer by freshman Christie Iwanicki (Newtown, Conn.) for a 55-37 edge, and the Rams extended that margin to as many as 23 points in the closing minutes to advance to the semi-final round.

Tracey added six rebounds and three assists in the win for Suffolk, while Morrissey added five assists and four boards for the Rams, and the duo was joined in double figures by Castignetti, who finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.  Junior Kerry Bowman (Guilford, Conn.) added nine assists and three steals for the hosts, who also received eight points each from Iwanicki and junior Emily Duquette (Harrisville, R.I.) as well as a game and career-high 11 rebounds from senior Katlyn Klecha (Fairfield, Conn.).  Suffolk shot 46 percent from the field, including 51 percent in the second half alone, and scored 19 points off of 24 turnovers while holding a 42-16 scoring advantage in the paint.

Sophomore Jessica Mellen (Rockland, Mass.) led all scorers with a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds in the setback for the visiting Raiders, who finish the season at 13-13 overall, while sophomore Blair Carpenter (Meredith, N.H.) added 14 points and four boards.  Junior Justine Nims (Weare, N.H.) netted 14 points while grabbing five caroms for Rivier, which also received eight rebounds from senior Sadie Hardiman (Loudon, N.H.).  The Raiders shot 33 percent from the field but missed 14 of their first 17 after intermission en route to a 28 percent effort in the second half, as Rivier held a 42-39 rebounding advantage for the evening.

Suffolk and Norwich will meet on Friday evening in the Great Northeast semi-finals at Emmanuel’s Jean Yawkey Center across town beginning at 7:30 p.m., as the Rams posted a 60-49 victory over the Cadets in their regular season meeting back on January 26th at Regan Gymnasium.  Friday’s other Great Northeast semi-final contest will pit top-seeded Emmanuel against fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales at 5:00 p.m., with the two semi-final winners meeting for the conference championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships on Saturday.