Lions pounce Daniel Webster

by Beacon Staff • February 2, 2006

The squad had dropped its previous two games, including last Tuesday's loss at the buzzer to conference opponent Simmons College. To win on Saturday, the team would have to perform without starting forward Kelly Kwiecinski, who suffered a broken nose during last Thursday's defeat against Mount Holyoke College.,The Emerson women's basketball team went into Saturday's game at Daniel Webster College needing a win.

The squad had dropped its previous two games, including last Tuesday's loss at the buzzer to conference opponent Simmons College. To win on Saturday, the team would have to perform without starting forward Kelly Kwiecinski, who suffered a broken nose during last Thursday's defeat against Mount Holyoke College.

The Lions went on to prevail, winning 85-75 and snapping its two-game losing streak.

The win brought Emerson's record to 8-9 in the season and 4-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).

Freshman guard Maude Okrah highlighted the Lions' 85 point outing, scoring a career high 22 points (10 of 13 from the field) and adding four steals and four assists.

Sophomore point guard Allie Bernier recorded 17 points and 6 rebounds, while sophomore Lindsay DeStefano finished with 16 points. Senior co-captain Molly O'Keefe also tallied 15 points, five assists and three steals in the win.

Entering the contest, Emerson head coach Melissa Hart said that with the playoffs looming, every conference game counts.

Okrah credited the bench for having a hand in the win.

"Here at Emerson we play unselfish basketball," she said. "[Last Saturday], the bench was our sixth man."

Okrah went on to say she concentrated more on getting players to the hoop, which resulted in good fortune and points.

"I just focused on finishing [drives to the basket]," Okrah said. "I took my time going to the hoop, but I couldn't score without my teammates."

Bernier said she has also noticed an improvement in Okrah's game throughout the year.

"Maude's been through a lot this season, but she drives [to the basket] very well and has a quick first step," she said. "I don't think there is anyone in the GNAC who can stop her."

Despite allowing 75 points, Emerson forced the opposition into committing 21 turnovers, while blocking five of Daniel Webster's shot attempts.

Hart said she was not satisfied with her team's defensive performance but was pleased with the outcome of the game.

"The first thing I think about is giving up 75 points," Hart said. "Fortunately, we were scoring at will too, and I am proud of the way we were able to closeout the game in the last five minutes, whereas earlier in the season we had trouble doing that."

The Lions struggled to defend Daniel Webster's 6-foot-tall sophomore center Erin Mosely, who scored 20 points against a smaller Emerson lineup. Hart said the team has had trouble guarding low post players.

Kwiecinski will have surgery on Wednesday to repair her broken nose. Even though she has an injury, she said it's difficult to sit out.

"It's hard sitting on the sidelines watching my team play," Kwiecinski said. "The girls are very talented, but I really want to be out there.",Jay O'Connell