Gators hang tough, but late surge sends Saints to 90-63 win

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – A 12-point Saints halftime lead ballooned to 20 in the opening minutes of the second half as visiting Emmanuel bested the shorthanded-but-feisty Gators, 90-63, Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference women’s basketball action at Pine Manor Gym.

             Emmanuel scored in spurts, managing three runs of eight or more straight points before a late 9-0 run that put the game out of the Gators reach. 

             Forward Meredith Shaw (Yarmouth, ME/Yarmouth) came off the bench to pace four Saints in double figures with 16 points in 23 minutes. Gators forward Paulette Wright (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) tallied her fourth double-double in league play with 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds, and Pine Manor guard Enjolee Phillips (right, Hartford, CT/Weaver) led all scorers with a season-high 18 points.


            A Phibe Pham (South Boston, MA/Snowden) three-pointer cut the Saints lead to 6-5 four minutes into the game. After Pine Manor’s Gina Simpson-Hobbs misfired on a trey just over a minute later, Emmanuel’s Casey Shelvin cashed in from distance to make it an 11-5 game at the 14:47 mark.


            Pine Manor kept the game within two possessions until a Jade Santos (Plymouth, MA/Cardinal Spellman) layup put the Saints ahead 19-12 at the 10:45 mark.   Santos’ basket was part of an 8-0 run featuring three Shaw baskets that saw the Saints go ahead 21-12. A Phillips jumper pulled the Gators to within eight, at 31-23, with 3:23 in the first, but Emmanuel scored four straight to take a 35-23 halftime lead.


            In a 10-0 run that spanned both halves and ultimately distanced the Saints, Andy Yosinoff’s club took a 41-23 lead in the first 75 seconds of the second half. A third 8-0 run, this featuring back-to-back threes by Casey Shelvin (Medford, NY/Mary Louis) and Breanna Ockimey and then an Ockimey (Philadelphia, PA/Academy of Notre Dame) layup, widened the margin to 60-33 at the 13:00 mark.


               Simpson-Hobbs (left) countered with eight straight points, scoring a layup and consecutive threes to pull the Gators back to within 20, at 60-41. The junior guard’s third triple of the half cut the margin to 18, 68-50, with 7:48 left, but it was all the undermanned Gators could muster, as a 9-0 Emmanuel run put the game away.


               While the Gators held a 27-26 advantage on the boards at halftime, the Saints worked a 46-45 advantage for the game. Emmanuel forced 22 Gators turnovers, and the Saints offense executed its way to a 19-11 turnover-to-assist ratio.


               Save starting forward Pamela Mobley (Worcester, MA/Doherty), who left the game early in the first half with a leg injury, all 12 Saints scored, as did all seven Gators, four of whom played 32 or more minutes.


               Shaw led the Saints with eight rebounds in addition to her 16 points, as she shot 7-11 from the field. Ockimey scored her 13 points in only 15 minutes, as Shelvin and senior guard Iman Davis (Tom’s River, NJ/St. George’s) tallied 12 each.


               Simpson-Hobbs scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, shooting 3-6 from three-point range in the half and 3-8 on the game. Wright’s 19 rebounds are a career high and the most for a Gators player since Amanda Dennis pulled down 17 on December 2, 2006.


               Pine Manor travels to Lasell to take on the Lasers on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Emmanuel plays host to Emerson Tuesday night at 6:30.

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