Genco drops five 3’s, Huskies trounce UNCW

Genco drops five 3’s, Huskies trounce UNCW
Third-year guard Jess Genco makes a pass in a Jan. 19 game against Drexel. / Photo by Alex Melagrano

By John Hagerty, deputy sports editor

The Northeastern women’s basketball team won 56-39 against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in commanding fashion Friday night at Cabot Center.

In the first minutes, the Huskies answered a 4-0 start by the visiting Seahawks with a 24-3 run. The Huskies never relinquished their lead after the 6:02 mark in the first quarter.

Third-year guard Jess Genco spearheaded the big scoring run, scoring 15 points in the first half on 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point range.

Genco attributed her own confidence and her teammates’ trust in her as factors in her hot shooting from the outside.

“When I shoot, I always have the intent to make it,” Genco said. “To know my teammates have faith in me makes it even better.”

Head coach Kelly Cole pointed out that Genco impacts the game with not just scoring, but also her defense and leadership.

“Jess has been steady all year long,” Cole said. “Whether it’s taking care of the ball, leading the team offensively, defensively. She has been the quarterback. When other people are struggling, she’ll step up and take care of it.”

UNCW’s 39 points for the game was the second lowest output from a Husky opponent this season. The Seahawks shot 0 for 9 on three-pointers in the first half — third-year guard Genco pointed out that they succeeded by simply executing their game plan.

“To hold them to 39 points is great,” Genco said. “We stuck to coach’s game plan and knew they wanted more drives than 3’s and we boxed out and were getting some boards.”

Cole felt that the physicality played a role for the Huskies on the defensive end.

“It was a little more like a rugby match,” Cole said. “We did a really nice job of buckling down on the defensive end. We were aggressive and took them out of rhythm.”

Second-year forward Jasmin Braswell, who has played spot minutes throughout the season, came in and made an impact right away in the first half, grabbing 6 rebounds in 12 minutes.

Bench production has been inconsistent throughout the season for the Huskies, but Braswell’s play along with four time CAA rookie of the week Stella Clark’s presence will be crucial as the Huskies head towards postseason play.

“[The reserves] bring a real spark and pick up our energy,” Genco said. “For them to contribute great minutes like that makes us that much more dynamic. Anybody’s ready at any time.”

The Huskies will continue their CAA schedule on Sunday in Cabot Center as they face the University of Delaware. Northeastern will be focused on defense and securing rebounds against the Blue Hens, as the Huskies were outrebounded by 14 in their previous matchup, a 64-53 win.

”We’re always trying to improve,” Genco said. “For Delaware we’re going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of defense and definitely get on the boards because they have some big players.”


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