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Women’s Hoops Repeats as GNAC Champs; Tops Saint Joseph’s (ME), 67-50

Women’s Hoops Repeats as GNAC Champs; Tops Saint Joseph’s (ME), 67-50

THE BASICS 

Score: 
#1 Emmanuel College, 67; #2 Saint Joseph's College (ME), 50

Records: 
Emmanuel College Saints (21-7, 9-2 GNAC)
Saint Joseph's College Monks (19-9, 9-2 GNAC)

Location: Boston, Mass. – Andy Yosinoff Court

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

THE LEAD – The Emmanuel College women's basketball topped Saint Joseph's College (ME), 67-50, Saturday afternoon in the 2020 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Finals to repeat as GNAC Champions and capture the program's 17th GNAC crown.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Saints never trailed in the action, scoring on their first offensive possession on a layup by sophomore forward Loredana D'Agostino (Broad Brook, Conn.) to start a 13-3 surge to open the game. EC built the lead to as many as 14 in the opening quarter (19-5) before the Monks closed the period strong by connecting on six consecutive free throws to make it 21-11 through one.
  • Two free throws by senior guard Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) and a layup by freshman guard Bri Jordan (Gray, Maine) to start the second cut Emmanuel's lead to 21-15 but the Saints answered with a pair of free throws by D'Agostino followed by a layup from senior Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (Cambridge, Mass. to regain the double-digit cushion at 25-15 with 6:46 to play in the half.
  • A jumper by EC sophomore Riley Lahiff (Attleboro, Mass.) moved the hosts lead to 33-19 before junior Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) nailed a three for the Monks to cap the scoring at 33-22 heading into halftime.
  • The Saints held the Monks to a 23.1% shooting clip in the first half that included a 16.7% from behind the arc while outrebound St. Joes 25-14 in the stanza.
  • Emmanuel took control of the game after the break, opening the third quarter on a 14-3 run capped by a Ramirez-Tejeda layup with 6:12 left in the quarter to give EC a 47-25 advantage.
  • The Monks refused to let the game get out of hand and over the final six minutes in the third outscored Emmanuel by a 13-6 margin fueled by eight points from Stapelfeld to close the gap to 53-38 heading into the final period.
  • EC senior guard Kayla Weaver (West Haven, Conn.) and Quinn traded hoops to open the fourth before Emmanuel started to cement the win with an 8-2 flurry with a three by Weaver to close the run and make it a 63-42 contest with 5:06 to play.
  • A pair of Stapelfeld free throws with 2:28 closed the gap back to 15 (65-50) but the Saints defense held St. Joes scoreless the rest of the way to secure the 67-50 victory for the 2020 GNAC Championship.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Ramirez-Tejeda paced the Saints with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for her 22nd double-double of the year the lead all women's basketball players at the NCAA Division III level.
  • Weaver added 14 points and four steals in 36 minutes of action, going perfect from beyond the arc (1-1) and the free throw line (3-3) in the victory.
  • Stapelfeld led all scorers with 21 points including a gutsy 5-for-6 performance from long range while Jordan added 13 points and team-best eight rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench for the Monks.
  • D'Agostino finished the afternoon with 11 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Jamad Fiin (Boston, Mass.) hit some big shots in an 11-point effort for EC.
  • Emmanuel held Saint Joseph's to just 28.6% shooting from the field, their second lowest total in 2020 with the other coming on Feb. 15th vs. Emmanuel when EC held them to a 23.6% field goal percentage two weeks ago.

OF NOTE

  • Emmanuel improves to 20-7 all-time against the Monks and has now won the last three meetings after dropping five straight from 2016-19.
  • This marks the second consecutive GNAC Championship win for Emmanuel over Saint Joseph's as the Saints posted a 65-64 win last season in Standish, Maine to earn the GNAC AQ to the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
  • The win marks the 17th GNAC Championship in program history for Emmanuel and moves the Saints to 17-4 all-time in Finals action while the loss moves the Monks to 4-3 on the GNAC's big stage.
  • During the action, Ramirez-Tejeda moved into third all-time in scoring at Emmanuel, surpassing former GNAC Player of the Year Fiona O'Dwyer '13 on the list and now has 1,576 points in just three seasons at EC.
  • Emmanuel is now 62­-8 (.886) all-time in GNAC tournament action.

UP NEXT

  • Emmanuel advances to the 2020 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball tournament for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall. The Saints will wait to find out their first-round opponent on Monday's NCAA selection show at 2:30 PM.
  • The Monks season comes to a close with a 19-9 overall record, snapping a streak of four straight seasons (2015-16 through 2018-19) with 20+ victories.

2020 GNAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Regis College #35 Pam Gonzalez Fy. G Revere, Mass.
Suffolk Univ. #11 Jenni-Rose DiCecco Jr. G Falmouth, Mass.
Saint Joseph's College #5 Julia Quinn Sr. G Fryeburg, Maine
Saint Joseph's College #12 Cassandra Stapelfeld Jr. G Brookline, N.H.
Emmanuel College #1 Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda Sr. G/F Cambridge, Mass.
Emmanuel College #45 Loredana D'Agostino So F Broad Brok, Conn.

2020 GNAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (MVP)
Emmanuel College       #24   Kayla Weaver                 SR.  G      West Haven, Conn.