Suffolk University

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Women's Basketball Drops 70-51 Decision To Emmanuel In GNAC Championship Game

2008 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Jean Yawkey Center, Boston, Mass.


BOSTON, Mass.--  Sophomore Iman Davis (New Britain, Conn.) scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead four players in double figures as top-seeded Emmanuel claimed the 2008 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball championship with a 70-51 victory over second-seeded Suffolk in the title game played Saturday afternoon at the Jean Yawkey Center. 

The host Saints, who improve to 22-6 overall on the season, also earned an automatic berth into the 2008 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships, as Northeast Regional pairings will be announced on Sunday.

Emmanuel used a 13-2 run over a 3:02 stretch to break free of a 12-12 tie and take a 25-14 lead with 9:58 remaining in the opening half on a lay-in by senior and Tournament Most Valuable Player Jacque Pannell (Bloomfield, Conn.), but the visiting Rams, who fall to 20-8 overall on the season, answered with an 11-5 run of their own to slice their deficit back to five at 30-25 on a pair of free throws by junior Kerry Bowman (Guilford, Conn.) with 4:06 to play in the half.  The Saints took control of the contest by ending the half on a 12-4 run to grab a 42-29 advantage at the break and built that lead to 22 points on a Davis lay-in with 13:23 remaining in the contest, as Emmanuel extended its edge to as many as 28 points in the closing minutes to capture the title.

Senior Jade Paez (Bronx, N.Y.) added 14 points, including four three-pointers, in the win for the Saints, who also received 12 and 10 points, respectively, from freshmen Kristin LeBel (Tolland, Conn.) and Casey Shevlin (Medford, N.Y.).  Emmanuel held a 27-0 scoring advantage from behind the arc in canning nine three-pointers on the afternoon, as the Saints converted 29 Suffolk turnovers into 30 points while holding a 16-2 edge in fast break points to avenge an 11-point setback to the Rams suffered back on February 9th.

Junior Emily Duquette (Harrisville, R.I.) led the way with 12 points in the setback for Suffolk, which also received a double-double effort of 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from junior Meghan Tracey (Rehoboth, Mass.).  Sophomore Stephanie Zito (Guilford, Conn.) added seven points and nine rebounds for the Rams, who also received four points, five assists and nine boards from senior Katie Castignetti (Braintree, Mass.) as well as six points from freshman Christie Iwanicki (Newtown, Conn.).  The visitors shot just 33 percent from the field and missed on all 10 of their three-point attempts on the day, but Suffolk held a 55-41 rebounding edge and converted 18 offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points for the contest.

The 2008 Great Northeast Women’s Basketball Championships all-tournament team consisted of Pannell, Davis and Paez of Emmanuel, Iwanicki and senior Stephanie Morrissey (Abington, Mass.) of Suffolk, Norwich sophomore Ally Daniels and Johnson & Wales junior Johanna Santosuosso.

Suffolk, which set the school record for most wins in a season with Friday’s league semi-final triumph over Norwich, will await word of a berth in the 2008 ECAC Division III New England Women’s Basketball Championships, as those pairings will be announced on Monday afternoon.