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