Women’s Basketball loses in upset against Johnson & Wales

The most anticipated rematch of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs did not disappoint. Unfortunately for the Suffolk University Lady Rams, it meant the end of their season with a loss to Johnson &Wales.

It has been a rocky season for the Lady Rams up until this point, having trouble staying in games with their superior defense, but shaky offense.

The most competitive game in the GNAC the whole season was when the Wildcats hosted the Lady Rams in a double-overtime epic that was one for the books.

The Lady Rams (16-10) held the fourth seed in the GNAC tournament, riding on their great depth and a strong defense led by forward and captain Jennifer Ruys. The team tried to find an identity on offense and be more consistent handling the ball on scoring opportunities.

The Wildcats (10-16) were stuck at the fifth seed being, the best of the teams with losing records. They gave the Lady Rams a run for their money the first time, and they brought the same intensity into the playoffs.

(Photo courtesy of Suffolk Athletics)

The defense on both teams took control of the entire first half, leaving the Wildcats with an 18-17 lead to cap off the low scoring half.

The Wildcats strategy was simple and obvious: get shots off.

They scored six field goals on 30 shots. Although they were inaccurate, they were all about trying to run up for the score and get on the Lady Rams as fast as possible.

On top of that, the Wildcats forced 13 turnovers in just the first half of play.

Within the first 10 minutes of the second half, both teams started making plays on offense as the teams stayed close down the final stretch.

In a span of three minutes, the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to pull away from the Lady Rams. Moments like this have hurt the Lady Rams in a number of losses, because once they are down, they usually stay down.

It is difficult for a defensive minded team like the Lady Rams to go on big scoring runs while maintaining their lock-down defense.

The Lady Rams continued to fight back, but the damage was done and they had a bigger rival than the Wildcats against them. The clock.

The Wildcats managed to pull out the big upset on road thanks to their 21 forced turnovers and the offense led by their small point guard D’Ana Rolle, winning 59-45.

Rolle was the leading scorer with 18 points and five steals. She stands at a short 5 feet 4 inches, but that did not stop her from getting nine rebounds, which was also the team high.

Senior forward Ruys showed a valiant effort with 14 points and six rebounds. She has had an impressive career, and even during a banged up season, she showed a lot of heart down the stretch.

This will not be the last game for the Lady Rams, but it is an emotional loss going out in the first round. Ruys and Jessica Bard will be the only graduates this season, but they still have plenty of depth and show promise for next season.