Hot First Half Propels Wildcats Past Gators

Chestnut Hill, MA - Johnson & Wales took a 46-24 halftime lead thanks to five first-half treys in an 86-60 win over the Pine Manor on Saturday in Great Northeast Athletic Conference women’s basketball action.

Alexa Ramirez (San Marcos, CA/Mission Hills) finished with 21 points – 17 in the first half – and nine rebounds for the visiting Wildcats (12-11, 7-3 GNAC), shooting 9-13 for the game and shooting a perfect 3-3 from long-range in the first half. Morgan Wilson (LaGrangeville, NJ/Arlington) chipped in with 14 points, and Johanna Santosuosso (Salem, NH/Salem) and Jeniphr Moxley (Lakewood, WA/Lakes) rounded out four Wildcats in double-figures with 13 each, with Santosuosso adding a game-high seven assists.

For Pine Manor (2-19, 0-10 GNAC), Stacie Beauford (Baltimore, MD/Old Mill) tied Ramirez for game-high honors with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. Michelle Campbell (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) added a game-high 12 boards and Angeline Capre (Dorchester, MA/Madison Park Tech) and Enjolee Phillips (Hartford, CT/Weaver) finished with 10 points each.

Beauford kept the Gators close early on, posting 10 points in the game’s first nine minutes, at which point Pine Manor trailed 19-14. The Wildcats, though, took control over the last five minutes of the frame, closing the half on a 20-5 run in the final 5:06, a streak that featured three of the team’s five three-pointers of the period. TJ Ciolfi’s club hit 5-11 treys (45.5 percent) and shot 45 percent from the field for the first half, shooting 44.9 percent on the day.

Amanda Dennis (Haverhill, MA/Whittier Tech), who set a new GNAC all-time record for blocked shots on Tuesday, finished with six points, seven rebounds and career block No. 201 in 26 minutes off the bench for Alex Gould’s club, which outrebounded the Wildcats 41-38.

The Gators celebrated “Pink Zone,” a nationwide initiative to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research on behalf of the Kay Yow/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Pine Manor’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council distributed literature on the disease and raised over $220 for Pink Zone, which was celebrated by all 13 GNAC institutions.

Johnson & Wales is in action again on Tuesday at Suffolk, while the Gators visit Emmanuel Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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