The Suffolk Journal

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Freshman exhibits potential to pave way

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Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

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Suffolk University’s women’s basketball freshman point-guard Jenni-Rose DiCecco was named Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Corvias Rookie of the Week. Along with the honor, DiCecco surpassed an all-time Suffolk athletics single-season record with her seventh award, placing her ahead of sophomore teammate, Alexis Hackett, who won the award six times in 2016-17. DiCecco has led the Lady Rams to an 18-6 season, putting them third in the conference.

During her sixth Rookie of the Week stretch, which tied Hackett, DiCecco averaged 15.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds. The freshman’s biggest game came against Anna Maria College, where she broke out for 21 points and eight assists in a 92-57 win. She also put up 19 points and six rebounds in a victory against Mount Ida College.

“I was pumped when I got [Rookie of the Week] for the first time. Every time after that has been just as exciting,” said DiCecco in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal.

DiCecco’s best performance of the season came in an overtime win against Framingham State University. Playing 44 of a possible 45 minutes, the freshman put up 29 points while shooting 50 percent, 7-14, from the three-point line. Dicecco recorded three steals, five rebounds and three assists, as she captured her third Rookie of the Week honor while also being named “Best rookie over a seven day stretch” by the New England Women’s Basketball Association.

Jumpstarting into her collegiate career, DiCecco immediately made an impact on the team. In her first game of the season, the freshman scored 21 points and notched two steals while playing the entire 40 minutes of the game. She continued her early success in the Roadrunner Tip-Off Tournament, leading the Lady Rams to the crown. In the semi-final game, DiCecco came one assist shy of a double double with 10 points and nine assists. The next day, the freshman added 11 points with four assists in the championship game.

“[DiCecco] has brought so much to the team, stepping into the role as our starting point guard. That’s not an easy job for anyone to do, especially a freshman,” said senior captain Georgia Bourikas in an interview with The Journal. “She’s going to do amazing things in her four years here, keep an eye out for her.”

She’s going to do amazing things in her four years here, keep an eye out for her”

— Georgia Bourikas

In her first collegiate season, DiCecco currently averages 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. The freshman is leading the team in assists per game, steals per game, total three-pointers made and total free throws made as well as tied for first in points per game.

“She’s a very good point guard,” said forward Jordan Hipwell in an interview with The Journal. “She knows how to control the offense and see the floor. She’s one of the reasons why we are [18-6]. I love how fearless she is.”

One statistic that sticks out is DiCecco’s ability to stay in the game for long stretches of time on the court. The freshman averages more than 35 minutes out of 40 per game. It is clear Lady Rams head coach Ed Leyden has given DiCecco complete control of the point-guard position. While the work load as a freshman may seem tiring, DiCecco insists it actually helps her on the court.

To take home her record-breaking seventh Rookie of the Week award, DiCecco boosted Suffolk to a 75-71 victory over conference rival Regis College. The point guard dropped 16 points to go along with five rebounds and four steals. Once again, DiCecco played the entire 40 minutes of the game.

“It’s hard to be thrown into a game after you’ve been sitting out for a while. To be on the court for most of the game, it not only helps my endurance, but my ability to play the game. I’m also really glad coach trusts me as much as he does,” said DiCecco.

DiCecco is one of six freshman recruits, all of which have had an immediate impact on the Lady Rams. With such a strong freshman class, DiCecco and her teammates believe they can have success not only this year, but in the long term as well.

“With such young talented girls, we have so much potential. I hope we can bring home a GNAC Championship and an NCAA appearance too. I think that is everyone’s goal,” said DiCecco.

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Freshman exhibits potential to pave way