Third Seeded Suffolk University finished just short of the GNAC Championship game with a tough 56-46 GNAC Semifinal loss at the hands of Norwich Friday, Feb. 23 at Emmanuel College. Suffolk may get to continue its season when the ECAC New England Championship brackets are announced on Monday, Feb. 26.
Norwich freshman guard Natalie Marchese was perfect on the night for the 24-2 Cadets, with 17 points on 5-5 shooting from the field. Sarah Chap added 11 points and six rebounds on 5-9 shooting. Suffolk was led by Meghan Tracey and Sarah Gregory with 10 points each.
Suffolk had a 27-24 halftime lead, but Norwich outscored Suffolk 32-19 in the second half. A Tracey (Rehoboth, MA) basket brought the Rams within three at 49-46 with just 2:18 remaining. Tracey finished her night with 10 points and six rebounds on 5-8 shooting.
Norwich was able to counter the Tracey bucket with a 7-0 run to end the game. A Caitlyn Bailey layup gave Norwich a 51-46 lead. A Bailey free-throw increased the lead to 52-46 with 1:09 remaining. Marchese and Kayleigh Shappy each added two free-throws of their own to close out the run.
The Norwich defense increased the pressure out of the halftime break forcing the Rams to attempt just two shots in the first four minutes. A Jenn Fogg (Stonington, CT) layup 4:29 in gave the Rams their first basket of the half and a 29-28 lead. Fogg finished with eight points on the night.
The 18-9 Rams recieved 10 points from senior Sarah Gregory (Fall River, MA). Gregory was 3-4 from the field.
Norwich moves on to play the No.1 seed Emmanuel Saints Saturday afternoon in the GNAC Final.
By Philip Camara
Suffolk Sports Information Intern