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Saints Athletic Weekly Recap: Late Comeback Bid Falls Short for Women’s Hoops in EC Invitational Championship

Despite 23 points from senior Sarah Higgins, the Saints women's basketball team couldn't close out an improbable last-minute comeback against Babson in Sunday's EC Invitational Championship. Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.

Despite 23 points from senior Sarah Higgins, the Saints women’s basketball team couldn’t close out an improbable last-minute comeback against Babson in Sunday’s EC Invitational Championship.
Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.

With the Saints down by eight points with under a minute to go, Emmanuel sophomore Ryan Maynard (nine points) made a pair of threes to cut it to a one possession game, but the late surge was not enough, as Babson College claimed the 32nd Annual Emmanuel College Invitational on Sunday by a final score of 80-75.

Maynard’s first three came with 38 seconds left on the clock to cut the Beavers’ lead to 77-72, and after Babson’s Linnett Graber made one of two free throws at the other end, the Saints once again found the hot hand Maynard, who cut the lead to three with another bucket from beyond the arc.

The Saints got the chance to tie the game after Babson’s Taylor Russell missed two free throws with 15 seconds to go, but a contested three by freshman Maddie McLaughlin missed the mark with five seconds remaining. A pair of free throws by Marissa Cicchetti in the closing seconds iced the victory for the Beavers.

The Saints were led by senior guard Sarah Higgins, who led all scorers with 23 points and finished just two rebounds shy of a double-double with 8 boards. Higgins and graduate student Lena Negri (13 points, 10 rebounds) represented the Saints on the All-Tournament team, which was voted on by the coaches of the four competing schools. Graber earned tournament MVP honors after her 19 point, seven rebound performance.

The Saints advanced to the championship thanks to an impressive 74-45 first round victory over Salve Regina on Saturday in their regular season opener. A dominant second quarter that saw the Saints outscore the Seahawks 27-6 set the pace for the second half and helped the team cruise to the win. Junior forward Alexis Ezell added 14 points off the bench to lead all scorers on the afternoon, as Higgins and Negri each chipped in 10 points of their own.

The team returns to action for three games this week, starting on Tuesday when they travel to Eastern Connecticut State for their first road game of the season. They return to the JYC Gym for a game on Thursday night against Rhode Island College and again on Saturday afternoon when they host Skidmore.

The Emmanuel College men’s basketball team got off to a tough start over the weekend, when they dropped a pair of games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Greater Boston Shootout. First, the Saints lost their opener against Emerson on Friday night 76-64, before losing to Wentworth the following afternoon by a score of 83-72.

Kyle Davis (20 points, 13 rebounds) and John Clay (18 points, 10 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles for the Saints against Emerson, but the team was plagued by 2-for-26 three-point shooting in the loss. Davis had another solid day against Wentworth, adding 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, but it again was not enough in the 11-point loss. Kyle Smith added 21 points to lead the Saints. The team returns to action on Saturday, when they travel to Westfield State for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams wrapped up their seasons over the weekend at the NCAA Division III New England Championship. The women’s team finished in 37th place overall out of 56 teams, while the men finished in 47th out of 55 teams. The Saints were paced by Margaret McCaffrey (137th, 24:14) on the women’s side and Ian Chamenko (164th, 27:38) on the men’s side. Many of the athletes on the cross-country team will now start preparing for their Indoor Track season, which kicks off on December 5.

Curtis Fraser ’16 is a staff writer and the Sports Editor of The Hub. He can be contacted at fraserc@emmanuel.edu.

Posted by on November 16, 2015. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.