Emmanuel 66 – Albertus Magnus 55
No. 2 North Seed – Emmanuel College Saints (22-5)
No. 1 South Seed – Albertus Magnus College Flacons (22-4)
Location: New Haven, Conn. – Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center
Date: Friday, February 24, 2023
THE LEAD – In a historic night at the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center, the Emmanuel Saints women’s basketball team is headed back to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship game for a fourth straight year while Head Coach Andy Yosinoff claimed his 900th career coaching victory, following Friday night’s 66-55 win over Albertus Magnus in the GNAC Semifinals.
Yosinoff becomes the 10th women’s basketball head coach in NCAA history, across all divisions, to reach 900 career wins, joining a Hall of Fame list of coaches including Tara VanDerveer, Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Barbara Stevens, Vivian Stringer, Sylvia Hatchell, Muffet McGraw, Jim Foster , and Jody Conradt.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The opening 10 minutes was a battle for control of the momentum, with both sides going on scoring runs but the defense played its role in the first quarter. EC led by more than a possession for much of the quarter, and a buzzer-beating layup by the sophomore Yannie Chan (Hong Kong, China) led the Saints to a 17-11 edge through one quarter.
- The Falcons cut the deficit to 17-15 to start the second quarter, but the Saints made their first major move of the evening, going on a 10-2 run over a span of 3:27 to take their first double-digit lead of the night at 27-17. Emmanuel would lead by as many as 13 in the second quarter, eventually holding a 36-25 lead at halftime.
- The Saints halftime lead was quickly cut down to four as Albertus Magnus started the half a perfect 3-for-3, going on a 7-0 run, cutting the deficit to 36-32. But the veteran Saints gathered themselves and locked in defensively while also going on a 10-0 scoring spurt in a 5:03 span, to take their largest lead of the night, 46-32. AMC closed out the quarter with seven of the last nine points, giving the Saints a 48-39 advantage with one quarter remaining.
- Albertus Magnus kept the momentum rolling into the fourth quarter, starting the final 10 minutes with a 6-0 run, cutting the deficit to 48-45. All told, between the end of the third and the first 3:26 of the fourth, the Falcons 13-2 surge put AMC down by one possession.
- As they did in the third quarter when the Falcons made their run to a four-point game, the Saints steadied themselves, broke the momentum, and locked in defensively, and over the next 4:55, outscored AMC 13-4, rebuilding a 12-point lead of 61-49 with 1:39 remaining. The Falcons only got as close as eight points, as the Saints headed back to the GNAC Championship Game following the 66-55 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Junior Olivia Matela (Swampscott, Mass.) scored a team-high 19 points, adding six rebounds and four steals, in 35 minutes.
- Chan added 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists for the Saints.
- Juniors Kiera Edwards (Portland, Maine) oath Allison Wild (Tewksbury, Mass.) cleaned up the glass with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Edwards scored eight points while Wild chipped in for five.
- Falcons sophomore Jacara Murray-Leach (Norwalk, Conn.) matched the game-high in scoring, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a full 40 minutes.
- Junior Caitlyn Scott (White Plains, NY) and sophomore Diamond White (Hamden, Conn.) each finished with 13 points.
- The GNAC Championship Game features familiar foes as the Emmanuel Saints will head to Maine to face the Saint Joseph’s College Monks on Sunday afternoon. It’s the fourth straight season the Saints and Monks will face off for the Championship and the sixth time in the last seven seasons the GNAC Title has been contested between the two teams. SJC won in 2016 and 2017 while the Saints held wins in 2019, 2020, and 2022.