WRITTEN BY BRYAN FONSECA
As the season continues to wind down, the St. Francis Terriers women’s basketball is looking to finish out strong and climb up the NEC Standings. On this Valentine’s Day afternoon, the Terriers will take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers in an effort to do just that.
If the playoffs were today, the Terriers would be the 8th seed and final team in the NEC Tournament. A win over the Pioneers, currently in 4th place, would be critical for the Terriers at this point of the season.
Going into the Saturday afternoon contest, the Terriers are coming off of two straight road losses, which followed a two game winning streak.
The Pioneers have come into this game on a bit of a hot streak having won each of their last four contests, two of which went into overtime.
The Terriers will have the difficult task of trying to contain redshirt junior guard Hannah Kimmel who currently averages 16.5 points per game, and this ranks her right outside of the top five scorers in the NEC conference. Kimmel’s team-high 9.1 rebounds per game place in at 3rd place in the NEC so far this season.
In the previous match-up between the two respective squads, Kimmel recorded a game-high 21 points in what was a 71-55 victory over the Terriers. Kimmel’s running mate Adaysha Williams scored 20 points in the aforementioned contest, and the sophomore guard is averaging 12.3 points per game.
These two standouts account for nearly 30 points per game for a Pioneers’ squad which scores over 70 points per on average; good for the 2nd most in the conference.
The Terriers, a more defensive minded team, currently average only 56.6 points per game; however they do lead the NEC in scoring defense by only allowing 61.5 points per game. The Terriers will need to showcase their defensive prowess in an effort to slow down the Pioneers.
It has been a total team effort for the Terriers throughout the season as they have four players who average double-digit points per contest.
Senior forward Sarah Benedetti leads the team with 13.2 per, and ranks just outside of the NEC’s top ten in scoring.
Senior guard Eilidh Simpson currently ranks second on the team with 12.7 points per game; 14th in the NEC.
Senior forward Jaymee Veney follows with 12.4 points per contest, and this ranks her at 15th in the NEC. Veney notably led the team with 19 points and eight rebounds in the previous showing between the two combatants.
And finally; senior guard Leah Feckho rounds out the fab-four with 10 points per game.
With an overall record of (7-17) and a conference record of (4-8), this Terriers team will be looking to finish strong in the NEC, and a win against the (12-9, 7-4) Pioneers could provide the launching pad for doing just that.
This game will be the first of a St. Francis Terriers basketball doubleheader. The Terriers will host from their arena, the Pope Physical Education Center, and this game will tip-off at 1 p.m.