Score: Albertus Magnus College, 72; Emmanuel College, 78
Records: Albertus Magnus Falcons (23-4, 9-2 GNAC); Emmanuel College Saints (22-5, 10-1 GNAC)
Location: Boston, Mass. – Andy Yosinoff Court
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
THE LEAD: In a thrilling overtime victory, the Emmanuel College women's basketball team took down the Albertus Magnus Falcons in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinal game, led by junior Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda and freshman Riley Lahiff (No. Attleboro, Mass.), on Thursday evening on the Andy Yosinoff Court.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Saints started the game on a high note with a quick four point lead but the Falcons came back quickly to tie the game at four before Maddie McLaughlin (Westerly, R.I) hit her first triple of the evening to extend the lead, 7-4.
- Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (Cambridge, Mass.) controlled the offense of the Saints for the middle of the first quarter scoring ten points through seven minutes, 22-16, before Jill Johnson (No. Haven, Conn.) stopped the momentum by completing an and-one and Shyla Osmond (New Haven, Conn.) laid in a shot in the paint, tying the game after the first quarter, 25-25.
- The beginning of the second quarter was a defensive juggernaut for both sides until freshman duo Riley Lahiff (No. Attleboro, Mass.) And Arina Ovchinnikova (Moscow, Russia) combined for a quick six points to bring the Saints into half ahead, 39-34.
- EC came out of break hot with a quick six points to extend the lead, 45-38, before Johnson completed yet another and-one and Osmond sunk a triple to close the lead back to three, 47-44.
- The Falcons took the lead for the first time with three minutes and seven seconds in the third as Osmond connected on an off balance jumper with no time on the shot clock, 52-50, but the Saints' were able to stay collected and tie the game back to head into the final quarter, 56-56.
- Albertus was able to take their largest lead of game, 56-50, as Osmond and Johnson combined for four unanswered points, but a hard drive by Kayla Weavers (West Haven, Conn.) and offensive rebound turned layup by Ramirez-Tejeda tied the game 60-60 with 4:40 remaining in regulation.
- The Saints used late game fouls by the Falcons to their advantage and scored eight straight points within two minutes, highlighted by interior play by Mary McCarthy (Scituate, Mass.), Lahiff and Ramirez-Tejeda, 64-60.
- The final two minutes of play continued to be a battle as both sides connected on late game baskets forcing extra time, 66-66.
- Andreah Orr (Danbury, Conn.) of the Falcons scored the first basket in overtime, but EC's defensive hold led by Lahiff and McCarthy, along with offensive play by Lahiff and Ramirez-Tejeda pushed the Saints to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference final, 78-72.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Jill Johnson was the game leader with 27 points and four rebounds for the Falcons, but Ramirez-Tejeda of the Saints completed another double-double with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
- Freshman Riley Lahiff came off the bench for the Saints and made an immediate impact with matching a career-high 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
- The Saints will be heading to the top seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Saturday, February 23rd to battle for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship title in a 1PM matchup.