Lions continue hot streak

by Beacon Staff • February 6, 2008

Then, senior guard Lindsay DeStefano took matters into her own hands.

With Emerson leading 52-45, DeStefano caught the ball on the 3-point line with a defender charging at her.,With just under 10 minutes left to play in their game against St. Joseph's on Saturday, the Emerson women's basketball team was clinging to a slim lead.

Then, senior guard Lindsay DeStefano took matters into her own hands.

With Emerson leading 52-45, DeStefano caught the ball on the 3-point line with a defender charging at her. A St. Joseph's player knocked her over as she threw up a shot, but the ball rippled through the net anyway.

She converted the ensuing free throw for a 4-point play during the most critical sequence of the contest, helping her team to a 72-55 victory over the visiting Monks.

"It's the first [four-point play] I've made in my college career," said DeStefano, a broadcast journalism major. "It felt good to see it go through the net. I saw it and I was like, 'Sweet.'"

After the shot, DeStefano came up with another big play on defense, blocking a 3-point attempt by the Monks. She then found a streaking Lauren Vassallo for a lay-up, giving the Lions a comfortable lead that they would never relinquish.

After the game, Emerson head coach William Gould acknowledged that the four-point play might have been the turning point.

"It gave us an emotion lift after they made a little run at us," Gould said. "But they had their run and we clearly had the answer."

Emerson came out blazing in the contest, jumping to a 10-2 lead behind the solid play of senior guard Maude Okrah. St. Joseph's fought back, but Emerson never lost the lead and headed into halftime up 34-27.

"I told them at halftime, though, that [the Monks] were going to make a run," Gould said. "We just needed to have an answer."

The Monks did come out strong in the second half before DeStefano's play, which was the key to an 11-0 run that virtually sealed the win for the Lio ns.

Sophomore guard Andrea Kosek said the team was so effective during the game because they made plays on both ends of the court.

"We did very well on both offense and defense," the audio post-production and sound design double major said. "We were aggressive on defense, and our offense sort of followed that."

The bulk of the offense for the afternoon came from freshman forward Kathy Andrade, who finished with a career-high 25 points.

Andrade said the team came out sharp early on, which propelled them to victory.

"We're usually pretty flat [early on]," the broadcast journalism major said. "We came out intense and we played well. It showed."

With a victory against Suffolk on Wednesday, the Lions improved to 12-9 (7-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference) on the season. The win also propelled Emerson into second place in the league standings.

"Everyone knew how important this game was," Gould said. "We really believed we could beat them. We were tired of getting no respect, and we wanted to come out and prove ourselves."

Ironically, the 4-point play was the only field goal of the game for DeStefano, who finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

After the game, DeStefano said her team was well-prepared from the outset, giving them a strong advantage over the visitors.

"We were just ready to go," DeStefano said. "There was no stopping us today."