Suffolk University: 62
Emerson College: 54
Tears were shed and emotions were high after a heartbreaking loss for the women’s basketball team on Tuesday as the Lions could not overcome a stagnant start in the first round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs against Suffolk University.
Emerson shot a near season low: 22.6 percent from the field in the first half, digging themselves a 35-16 point deficit that proved to be insurmountable.
“They went on a little run and we panicked, and I think part of that panic is thinking, ‘Oh my god, this is it,’ ” head coach Bill Gould said. “And as a result, we played the rest of the half with the mentality of, ‘Oh my god, don’t let this be the end’.”
The team only had two total assists going into the second half, were outrebounded 27-19, and did not attempt a free throw the entire period.
“I think any time a team goes on a run against us, we freak out and lose our focus,” said sophomore marketing communication major and forward Kristin Brice. “We get down on ourselves, and it’s hard to figure out what to do next.”
The Lion’s defense gave up eight first - half offensive rebounds, and in turn allowed Suffolk to shoot 42.9 percent.
Emerson was able to rally in the second half and bring the game within three points with three minutes left, but used too much energy recovering from the slow start allowing Suffolk to rattle off a late 8-0 run ending Emerson’s season. The game ended with a final score of 54-62.
“We got caught up in the referees and the pushing and the shoving instead of playing our own game,” said sophomore visual media arts major and forward Catherine Cloutier. “The main thing that was so upsetting was seeing two great seniors go, and I wish the season wasn’t over so I could play a little bit more with them.”
The women’s basketball team ends the season with an improved 7-5 conference record and a 13-13 overall finish.
This was also the team’s first playoff appearance since 2011, when they were also eliminated in the quarterfinals by Saint Joseph’s College.
“I am just so proud of the girls and our coaches this season,” said senior communication studies major and guard Amy Sherman. “Everyone worked so hard from start to finish this season, and we should be proud of how we fought and clawed our way back this year.”
Gould said it is an especially emotional game for the two departing seniors, Sherman and Shannon Norton.
“There is all the time in the world until the day there isn’t any time left,” Gould said. “And as harsh as it sounds, they will never play competitive sports ever again, and that’s a very tough and emotional thing to comprehend.”
Deffebach can be reached at email@example.com.