Women’s basketball surges past Delaware in 73-59 game

Women’s basketball surges past Delaware in 73-59 game
First-year guard Stella Clark takes on defender in a drive to the hoop during Saturday's victory over Delaware. / Photo by Catherine Argyrople.

By Irvin Zhang, news staff

Dominating the paint by way of outrebounding and outscoring Delaware by margins of 15 and 22 respectively, the Northeastern women’s basketball team rolled past the Blue Hens 73-59, notching their second consecutive win Sunday afternoon at Cabot Center.

Going into the contest, the Huskies faced the challenge of containing Delaware’s third-year forward Nicole Enabosi, the conference leader in scoring, rebounding and double-doubles who averages 18.8 points and 12.2 rebounds.

The Huskies’ game plan was clear: get the ball out of Enabosi’s hands and put the pressure on other players to score.

“We set up to double in the low post,” head coach Kelly Cole said. “Any time she got the ball in the paint, we would bring an aggressive double hoping she would kick it out — not even hoping for a turnover, but just kick it out into someone else’s hands.”

Despite holding Enabosi to only four points in the first quarter, the other Delaware starters carried the load, scoring by way of layups and mid-range jumpers, eking out a 18-17 advantage.

During the second quarter, the Huskies stayed away from the three point, catching fire with their interior scoring. They finished the quarter shooting 70 percent on field goals within the 3-point line, giving them a 40-35 lead at halftime.

The Huskies are aware that Delaware and other CAA teams are game planning to limit their perimeter scoring, as they’re the conference leaders in 3-point field goals made per game, averaging 7.5 per game.

“For us, I have to believe that anybody who is watching is trying to take away our perimeter game,” Cole said. “I’ve continued to say that the way we’re going to be successful is if we can play outside and play inside. Today, they did a good job taking away our perimeter game and we scored inside.”

The Huskies continued to attack Delaware’s interior defense, opting for drives and layups over jumpers on the perimeter. This adjustment proved successful, and the Huskies never looked back after taking a lead in the second quarter, pushing into blowout territory.

“We knew that they were going to stay out on us so we wanted to look for backdoor cuts and just take what they gave,” third-year guard Jess Genco said. “It’s a mentality that we’re going to have to have; that if they take one thing away, we fight right back with the next thing. If they take that away, we hit them with another thing. We have to stay dynamic and unpredictable.”

The Huskies finished the game shooting a lights-out 54 percent from the field with four of their five starters in double-digit scoring. They were led by Genco, who finished with 17 points and seven assists, and third-year forward Gabby Giacone, who posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, all while being the primary defender of Enabosi who only had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Third-year guard Jess Genco, the Huskies’ biggest point scorer of the game, goes up for a jumper in the paint. / Photo by Catherine Argyrople.

“That’s what we’ve tried to build this program off of,” Cole said. “Every game we want four players in double digit scoring. Like I said, that’s the hardest thing to stop. Teams are finding out that we have a great balance. We have four guards every given night that can score in double digits and we have Loren [Lassiter], Jasmine Braswell and Gabby [Giacone], so it’s tough to take them both away.”

The Huskies’ win over Delaware completed their first regular season sweep of the Blue Hens since the ‘97-98 season.

“For us right now, that’s cherry on top,” Cole said. “For us, every game is of the utmost importance. Every game, we’re going out and saying ‘this is the game, this is the game, this is the game.’ Our goal was to go baby steps in the right direction every game, every practice, as a team and as a program. We’ve continued to do that.”

Northeastern improves to 12-10, 7-4 in CAA play, landing them in a tie for third place in the standings. The Huskies have found their groove as of late, winning four out of their last five games.

“Right now, we’re playing our best basketball,” Giacone said. “I think down the stretch, as long as we continue to execute together and stay smart, we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

The Huskies go on the road this weekend and play James Madison University and the College of William & Mary, hoping to add to their winning streak and continue their ascension up the CAA standings.  

Leave a Reply