WRITTEN BY JOSEPH PRATASIEWICZ
Women’s Basketball Preview: The NEC playoffs have arrived the Terriers will go against the Bryant Bulldogs in the quarterfinals. It has been a fantastic season for the Terriers for the first time ever they recorded 19 wins.
The Terriers finished the season with (19-10 NEC 10-8) givng them the fifth seed in the NEC conference. They closed out the season winning their last 3 out of 4 games.
As for the Bulldogs they the ended season with a three game winning streak which helped them capture the fourth seed in the NEC. For the season the Bulldogs were (11-7 NEC 16-13)
Sunday’s game will prove to be a challenge for the Terriers as they take on Bryant University. The Bulldogs have their number this year beating them twice in close games.
In the first game the Bulldogs beat the Terriers 61-58. Both teams struggled shooting from the field they both shot under 35%.
For the Terriers their key players did not perform well. Junior guard Eilidh Simpson was not her usual self.
Simpson finished the game 8 points and was 4-13 from the field. Junior forward Sarah Benedetti is the Terriers sharp-shooter.
Benedetti was less than sharp against Bryant. She finished the game shooting 2 of 10 from the field. The two main scorers for the Terriers was senior guard Jasmine Robinson and junior froward Jamyee Veney.
Both Veney and Robinson scored 13 points. When the Terriers offense is slacking that is never a good sign.
Where the Terriers lack in is size. In their first matchup the Terriers got out rebounded 60-32.
The Bulldogs had two players that finished with double-digit rebounds. Senior forward Naana Ankoma-Mensa lead the way 18 rebounds.
In their second meeting the Bulldogs beat the Terriers 63-58. This time the Terriers defense got killed in the paint.
The Bulldogs were aggresive offensivley scoring 32 points in the paint. They had three players score in double-digits.
Senior guard Jenniqua Baily had 16 points and was 6 of 11 from the field. Mensa was everywhere. She was grabbing rebounds and getting points.
Mensa finished the game with 14 rebounds and 12 points. The Terriers once again had trouble scoring against the Bulldogs.
They were 6 of 25 from behind the arc. Benedetti was 1 of 4 from the field scoring only three points.
The Bulldogs are a team where they take advantage of mistakes. They scored 20 points off of turnovers.
After losing to the Bulldogs for the second time the Terriers were able to bounce back quickly. The Terriers beat the LIU Blackbirds in the Battle of Brooklyn 66-50.
Sarah Benedetti put on clinic scoring 25 points and winning the game MVP. It was a great win for them heading into the playoffs but it did come with a cost.
Eilidh Simpson went down mid-way in the first half to what appeared to be a lower ankle injury and did not return for the remainder of the game. She is one of many valid players on this team.
Before the injury Simpson was on fire in her last three games she was averaging 21.6 points per game. The Terriers will need to have everyone at their best.
If the Terriers learned anything from playing the Bulldogs this year it would be to fight for every rebound.
The Bulldogs have four players that average 5 or more rebounds a game. Sophomore forward Breanna Rucker averages 8.0 rebounds per game.
That means Veney, and sophomore forward Leah Fechko need to have a bigger role. For the season Veney averages 6.8 rebounds per game and Fechko averages 6.6 rebounds per game.
These two need to box out and grab rebounds. When the Terriers are hot offesnively there is no stopping them.
We have seen the Terriers shoot lights out but when they play the Bulldogs it’s a different story. The Terriers will need to get over of this hump so they can advance to the next round.
The Terriers need to prove they are not a one and done team after losing in the first round last year. Catch the Terriers this Sunday on the road as they take on the Bryant Bulldogs. Will the third time be a charm for the Terriers?