Seahawks host Rams in Newport

Tara Burke (right) and the Seahawks open the 2017-18 season at home against the Rams of Suffolk University on Wed., Nov. 15, at the Rodgers Recreation Center. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)
Tara Burke (right) and the Seahawks open the 2017-18 season at home against the Rams of Suffolk University on Wed., Nov. 15, at the Rodgers Recreation Center. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)

NOVEMBER 15 | 7:00 PM
RODGERS RECREATION CENTER
NEWPORT, R.I.

SERIES: Salve Regina leads, 4-3, since 1985
LAST MEETING: Nov. 16, 2010, W, 72-40
STREAK: W1
LIVE STATS: http://bit.ly/2zyp8rw
LIVE VIDEO: http://bit.ly/1KqFgp0
DIRECTIONS: http://bit.ly/1c4fubM

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Salve Regina University women's basketball team hosts its first regular-season home game of the year with out-of-league competition Wednesday (Nov. 15) as Suffolk University visits for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. The Seahawks and Rams meet in a season opener for the fourth time (most of any Salve Regina opponent) and first time since Nov. 16, 2010, when Salve Regina def. Suffolk, 72-40, in the Regan Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The longest opening day win streak for Salve Regina women's basketball (four games) came from 2001 to 2004 and included wins over Colby (Nov. 16, 2001), Castleton (Nov. 22, 2002), Trinity (Nov. 21, 2003), and Framingham State (Nov. 24, 2004). The win over Framingham State also was the first time Salve Regina had opened its women's basketball season at home (Rodgers Recreation Center). Wednesday will mark just the fifth time in 36 years that Salve Regina women's basketball opens its season at home.

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LAST TIME OUT
(Feb. 21, 2017) BRISTOL, R.I. - Second-seeded Roger Williams University escaped an upset bid by seventh-seeded Salve Regina University in the quarterfinals of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's basketball championships, outlasting the Seahawks in double-overtime with a 51-47 final. Roger Williams committed 24 turnovers in the game while shooting only .255 from the field (14-for-55). Salve Regina struggled as well throughout the game, giving up 29 turnovers while shooting 30.5 percent in the game (18-for-59). The Hawks held a slim 14-13 lead after the first quarter, but fell behind 27-19 at halftime after going 2-for-12 from the field in the second quarter. Salve Regina held Roger Williams to only five points in the period to take the eight-point lead going into the break. Roger Williams climbed back into the game in the third quarter, shooting 40 percent from the field and pulling to within three to make it 36-33 entering the final period.

The fourth quarter saw both teams struggle offensively, with Salve Regina only going 1-for-7 from the floor in the quarter. Roger Williams did not fare better, hitting only one of their 13 attempts in the quarter. Both teams went scoreless over a six-minute stretch before Bridget Quilty gave Roger Williams a 39-38 lead with 2:10 left with a pair of free throws. Ally Esielionis hit one of two free throws in the final minute to knot the game back up at 39. The Hawks had the final possession of the regulation but were unable to get a clean shot off to force overtime.

In the extra frame, the two squads went back and forth with three ties and two lead changes. Kerri Beland had the last basket in overtime, tying the game at 46 with a three with 1:26 left. A missed long 3-point attempt for Roger Williams in the final seconds forced double OT. Salve Regina would be done in by a stalled offense in the second overtime period. The Seahawks scored only one point in the period, going 0-for-4 and committing four turnovers. Though Roger Williams also failed to score from the field in the frame, the Hawks still managed to sink five free throws to push their way towards the win.

Mary Eden went for five points, seven assists, and 13 rebounds for Salve Regina. Liv Pierce added ten points and six boards off the bench.

MORE READING: CCC Pre-season Coaches' Poll: Women's Basketball No. 5

SEAHAWKS NOTES FROM THE NEST

  • Salve Regina's Cori Hughes enters her 11th season as head coach of the Seahawks (157-115; .577).
  • Hughes' overall record (193-214) includes five seasons as head coach at Daniel Webster (2002-07).
  • Salve Regina women's basketball has lost its last two season openers, but still has an overall record above .500 (18-17) on opening day since 1982.
  • The Seahawks have finished 10-16 each of the last two seasons; last year Salve Regina won three games at home, six on the road, and one at a neutral site (v. Rivier in Fairfield Inn and Suites Tournament hosted by UMass Dartmouth, Nov. 19).
  • Hughes has selected four captains for 2017-18 - seniors Mary Eden and Ally Esielionis along with juniors Kerri Beland and Liv Pierce.
  • Mary Eden led the Seahawks in rebounding last season (6.8 rpg).
  • The 2016-17 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Rookie of the Year Torie Scorpio started all 26 games as a freshman and led the Seahawks in points per game (12.5) while ranking second in minutes per game (36.3).
  • Salve Regina's longest win streak last season (five games) came February 4-18, and included a two-point win (71-69) at Endicott.
  • Juniors Lauryn Becker (4 games) and Mikayla Roderick (0 games) return after missing most or all of their sophomore seasons due to injury.
  • Last season's team free-throw percentage (.673) ranks as the fifth-best in program history; seven of the top eight marks have come under Cori Hughes' leadership including the best-ever .700 (402-574) in 2013-14.

RAMS RAMBLINGS

  • Suffolk's Ed Leyden enters his 24th season as head coach of the Rams (346-238; .592).
  • Suffolk finished 17-9 last season after losing in the GNAC quarterfinals, 67-53, to Norwich University.
  • The Rams bring back five letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with the most victories against conference competition (12-4) since joining the GNAC ranks in 1995 and their 23rd consecutive GNAC postseason appearance.
  • Georgia Bourikas posted career best numbers in field goal percentage (39.3), three-point percentage (41.5), rebounds (5.4 rpg), assists (2.6 apg) and blocks (0.5 bpg) in 2016-17.
  • Alexandra Nagri has been a constant in the Rams lineup for the past two seasons and looks to improve upon her 7.5 ppg and 2.0 apg from last season.
  • Alexis Hackett is back for her second season at Suffolk coming off a GNAC Rookie of the Year campaign a year ago.

INSIDE THE SERIES
Salve Regina leads the all-time series, 4-3. The series began in 1985, but these schools have not met since 2010.

[1/26/85] Salve Regina def. Suffolk, 66-57 (Newport, R.I.)
[2/2/87] Salve Regina def. Suffolk, 92-48 (Newport, R.I.)
[11/20/99] Suffolk def. Salve Regina, 83-76 (Keene, N.H.)
[12/30/06] Suffolk def. Salve Regina, 44-41 (San Diego, Calif.)
[11/18/08] Salve Regina def. Suffolk, 73-63 (Boston, Mass.)
[11/17/09] Suffolk def. Salve Regina, 62-58 (Newport, R.I.)
[11/16/10] Salve Regina def. Suffolk, 72-40 (Boston, Mass.)

WHAT'S NEXT?
Suffolk plays the Bears of St. Joseph's of Brooklyn in the Roadrunner Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, November 17 (5:30 p.m.), hosted by Ramapo in Mahwah, N.J.; Salve Regina travels to New London, Conn., to face the Bears of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a 7 p.m. tip-off.