BOSTON, Mass. - The Suffolk women's basketball team sprang out of the locker room for a monster third quarter, outscoring the University of Saint Joseph, 26-12, en route to a 68-46 GNAC triumph Saturday afternoon inside Regan Gymnasium. The loss drops the Blue Jays overall record to 7-11 and 2-8 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play. Suffolk improves to 14-6 and 9-2 in the league with the victory.
Two minutes ticked off the clock before either team connected for a hoop. Alexandra Clarke (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) broke open what would turn into a tight first quarter at the 7:52 minute mark. After a Georgie Bourikas (Hull, Mass.) triple the hosts gained a four-point edge. The Blue Jays hung around and chipped away at the Rams lead to lock the game at 10-all after the first 10 minutes.
In the second stanza, it took nearly three minutes for the hosts to put in a bucket. USJ took advantage of Suffolk's scoring lull and put the Rams in a 14-10 hole. A long ball from Kelsey Schiebel (Windham, N.H.) jump started the Rams' rally as Bourikas tied the game at 14-14, before a fast-break layup from Alexandra Nagri (Salem, N.H.) gave the hosts their first lead since the first quarter.
The contest would equalize at 16-16, before Alexis Hackett (Charlton, Mass.) took over the game at the charity stripe. Thanks to five freebies from the freshman Suffolk went out in front, 22-17. The teams traded free throws down the stretch and Suffolk took a 23-18 edge into the locker room.
USJ slimmed Suffolk's margin to two, 25-23, in the opening of the third frame. The Rams ran off seven consecutive points to grab a 34-25 advantage at the midpoint of the quarter. Out of a Blue Jays timeout, Caitlyn Caramello (Revere, Mass.) sparked another Suffolk surge, this time, a 13-2 run, which featured seven points from Schiebel, that made it a 49-30 Suffolk game after 30 minutes.
Suffolk's reserves kept the Blue Jays at a distance and maintained the Rams advantage, securing the 68-46 final margin.
Schiebel led Suffolk's scoring with 15 points, including 12 in the instrumental third quarter. The senior floor general was the most potent shooter for the Rams, going 4-for-9 from the field, 3-for-7 from behind the arc and a perfect 4-for4 at the foul line. She set-up two other shots and added two boards to her offensive performance.
Clarke finished the day with 10 points and 10 rebounds, seven of which came in the first quarter. She went 5-for-8 from the field and swatted six Blue Jay attempts. Caramello paced the rams on the glass with 13 rebounds off the bench. Offensively, the senior contributed seven points and two handouts.
Three Blue Jays finished in double figures in the setback led by junior forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) who sunk a team-high 13 points. Senior Carlee Putnam (Niantic, Conn.) and junior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) joined Guest in double digits with 12 points and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore Dhimitra Hatika (South Windsor, Conn.) chipped in with seven points off the bench for USJ.
Putnam led the way on the glass for USJ grabbing seven rebounds, while Guest added six caroms. Putnam and Mayo also recorded four steals apiece on the afternoon.
USJ put on the pressure and captured 15 steals, five more than the Rams, forcing 25 blue-and-gold turnovers compared to 22 from the Blue Jays. Both teams transitioned off the others mistakes, turning turnovers into 17 points apiece. The Rams outrebounded the Blue Jays, 56-35.
The USJ basketball team will be back in action next on Thursday, Feb. 2 inside the O'Connell Center for its final non-conference game of the season at 7 p.m. against Nichols College.