Hound women rally to beat A.I.C, clinch playoff home game

February 17, 2010

Assumption 67, American International 60

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --- Basketball is game of two halves and never was that more apparent than in the Assumption College vs. American International College women's basketball game Wednesday night.

Down 42-22 at the half the Greyhounds rallied in the second half to win 67-60 in a key Northeast-10 Conference game at the Henry Butova Gymnasium. Senior guard JACKIE BRANCA (Hanson, MA/Whitman-Hanson) made four straight free throws in the final minutes to salt away the choice victory. The Hounds outscored the home team, 45-18 in the second half.

The win clinched a home game for the Greyhounds in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference playoffs as they are now 14-11 overall and 11-9 in conference play in seventh place. The top four seeds draw first-round byes, while those teams that finish fifth through eighth host Nos. 9 through 12. Four teams are now tied for ninth-place with 12 losses with just two games remaining. American International is one of those teams at 8-12 with its overall record now 10-15.

The win also clinched the season rivalry with the Yellow Jackets as the Greyhounds prevailed 67-63 in Worcester (December 2).

The Greyhounds were led offensively by senior forward KAYLA PARKER (Sanford, ME/Sanford ) with a double-double 17 points and 10 rebounds including an 11-for-15 performance at the free throw line. Junior forward MOLLY GRIFFITHS (Walpole, MA/Ursuline Academy) added a double-double of her own (10 points, 10 rebounds) with three blocked shots. Sophomore forward KELLY MEREDITH (Franklin, MA/Franklin) (10 points, five rebounds) and freshman guard GABRIELLE GIBSON (Amityville, NY/Copiague) (10 points) also reached double figures.

American International had three double-figure scorers including junior guard ADRIANA JOHNSON (Tobyhanna, PA/Pocono Mountain West) (18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists), sophomore guard MICHELLE LAFOND (Holyoke, MA/Holyoke) (15 points) and senior guard KRISTIN BOESENBERG (Pocono Pines, PA/Pocono Mountain West) (10 points, four steals).

American International moved out quickly bolting to a 9-0 lead finished by an offensive rebound and putback by sophomore forward RHEA PASCAL (Pickering, ONT/Notre Dame). Johnson's layin with two seconds left gave the home team a 20-point advantage, 42-22, at the break. The Yellow Jackets were 17-for-32 from the floor for a .531 percentage, while the Greyhounds struggled at 6-for-20 (.300). A.I.C. also made six three-pointers including three by Lafond.

The Greyhounds started the second half on a 14-2 run to cut the gap to eight, 44-36, with 16:45 left on a Gibson fastbreak hoop. With the Jackets still leading by eight points (52-44) with 11:51 left, the Greyhounds went on 9-0 run . . . a layin by Parker, two free throws by Parker, a long three-pointer by Griffiths and finally a layin by Meredith to put the visitors in front, 53-52 with 7:19 left.

Parker's inside move with 1:57 left gave the Greyhounds the lead for good at 61-60. Branca then made four straight and Gibson two straight free throws to ice it. The Jackets missed all five attempts from the floor during that span.

The Greyhounds host Le Moyne College Saturday in another Northeast-10 Conference game at 1:30 p.m. in the Laska Gym, while American International hosts Adelphi at 1:30 p.m. Saturday is Senior Day for the Greyhounds.