Emmanuel Defeats Southern Maine in First Round, 55-49

By Christian Garris ’09

AMHERST, MA – Emmanuel College pulled off an upset in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round with a 55-49 win over the University of Southern Maine at Amherst College’s LeFrak Gymnasium. The Saints improve to 22-7 and will take on the host Lord Jeffs Saturday at 5 p.m., while the Huskies end their season at 22-7.

Emmanuel will take on Amherst College Saturday, Mar. 7 at 5 p.m. in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The host Lord Jeffs earned a 77-54 win over Babson College in Friday’s nightcap.

The game remained close throughout the first half as neither team could find a steady rhythm. The teams combined for only 40 first-half points, shooting 15-for-49 from the field. Emmanuel led by as many as six halfway through the first period, but a late run by Southern Maine closed the gap to two.

Stacy Kent helped spark the offensive attack by adding eight of her 10 points in the first half. Junior point guard Breanna Ockimey also scored eight first-half points for the Saints. Emmanuel played strong defense throughout, while its offensive efforts gave the Saints a two-point lead, 21-19, to close the half.

Emmanuel shooting guard Kristin LeBel opened the second half for the Saints with a huge three-pointer, increasing the Saints’ lead to five, 24-19, just minutes into the period. The Huskies’ first lead of the second period came on a lay-up by freshman point guard Nicole Garland. The basket was matched by the Saints’ offense as they quickly regained their lead, 30-29, five minutes into the second half. 

The game remained within one point for a little over a minute until a lay-up by Kent increased the Southern Maine lead to three with 12 minutes to play. The Huskies got their lead up to six before Emmanuel’s Iman Davis ended the run with a drive and lay-up that also drew a foul.

The Saints tied things up at 37-37 with 8:30 to go. The teams alternated a one-point lead until a big three-pointer from Kaylie DeMillo put the Huskies up two, 43-41.

Two mid-range jumpers and a three-point drive from LeBel gave the Saints a four-point advantage with just under four minutes to play. LeBel went on to shoot 6-for-12 from the field and an impressive 8-for-9 from the line to maintain the Saints’ lead. The Huskies couldn’t close the gap and went on to lose the game by a final score of 55-49.

LeBel led all scorers with 22 points, all of which came in the second half. Iman Davis added 15 points and three assists for the Saints while Kaylie DeMillo was the Huskies’ leading scorer with 12 points on 5-for-13 from the floor.