Women saved by strong half

by Beacon Staff • February 13, 2008

Despite a lackadaisical effort to start the game, the Lions won their seventh straight, 62-38, over Pine Manor College on Saturday. Following a defeat at Emmanuel College on Tuesday, the Lions are 13-10 (8-3 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference) on the season.,Luckily for the Emerson women's basketball team, you don't get half a win for playing only one good frame.

Despite a lackadaisical effort to start the game, the Lions won their seventh straight, 62-38, over Pine Manor College on Saturday. Following a defeat at Emmanuel College on Tuesday, the Lions are 13-10 (8-3 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference) on the season.

After the game, many players felt they were lucky to get the win after coming out so flat in the first half.

"It was an early game and straight up, we were still asleep," said Mallory Frers, a senior design technology major. "When we realized we were losing, we knew we had to play better."

Despite jumping out to a 10-3 edge early, the Lions quickly saw their lead evaporate. Pine Manor charged back behind the play of guard Enjolee Phillips and took a 13-12 advantage with four minutes remaining in the half.

"The first half was an embarrassment," said guard Andrea Kosek, a sophomore audio post-production major. "We had no enthusiasm. There was no life in us."

Emerson went to its bench early, looking for a spark, and eventually fought back to take a slim 21-20 lead at halftime. However, Head Coach William Gould said he was unhappy with the performance of his team in the early goings.

"There was simply no excuse," Gould said. "After we had some big wins, we were playing a team whose record wasn't great. But if we don't show up for the game, they'll have a shot at us."

To help his team become energized, Gould started the second half with a full-court press. Bolstered by strong defense, the Lions responded by scoring 19 straight points, putting them up 40-20 with 13 minutes to play in the game.

"Coach told us it was up to us to go out there and play strong," said Tamara Kearney, a freshman marketing communication major. "We put our minds to it and we did it."

Once the Lions found their rhythm, they were simply too much for the over-matched Gators. Pine Manor dressed just eight players for the game, and was held without a field goal for the first nine minutes of the second half. Phillips, who finished with 20 points, was the lone bright spot for the Gators.

"We had to redeem ourselves," Kosek said. "We knew in the second half we had to come out and step it up a lot."

Everyone on the Emerson roster scored in the game, led by junior guard Maude Okrah's 11 points. Junior guard Bri Papa also hit double figures with 10.

After the game, Gould acknowledged that the team was lucky to escape with the win. With the GNAC tournament beginning on Jan. 26, the Lions will need to start games more aggressively in the future.

In the meantime, Gould was just glad his team came away with the victory.

"A good second half is better than nothing," he said. "I'll take it."