Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homecoming for Ashley Prim

                                                                                             (Associated Press photo)
Ansonia's Ashley Prim, who needs 43 points for 1,000, is looking forward to
playing at least one more game in her home state as Saint Joseph 's faces
Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
As if seeing her school's name show up on the bracket line during ESPN's Selection Monday coverage wasn't exciting enough for Ansonia's Ashley Prim, there was even more reason for the Saint Joseph's senior guard to be in an exuberant mood to be able to play in her home state one last time.

Prim, who starred scholastically at Kolbe Cathedral, played in front of friends and family against Sacred Heart during her sophomore season and at Quinnipiac when she was a junior. Now the reward for winning the Atlantic-10 Conference is a spot in the subregional at Gampel Pavilion.

On Tuesday Prim couldn't use the word "excited" enough to explain her frame of mind as she gets to play in Connecticut.

“I was excited that I would be somewhat close to home and play in front of my family,” Prim said. “It was exciting seeing our name pop up.”

Prim, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, made an immediate impact with the Hawks as she started as a freshman. She is seventh on Saint Joseph’s career charts with 416 assists but her greatest legacy will be as the floor leader on the first class to play in the postseason four straight seasons since 2000. She enters Saturday’s first-round game against Vanderbilt (11 a.m., ESPN2) 43 points shy of 1,000. It would be ironic if it happens to come in a second-round game against UConn.

The Hawks certainly earned their way into the NCAA tournament with an upset of top seeded Dayton in the semifinals and then rallying for a win over Fordham in the A-10 final.

"We were able to stop them (Dayton) defensively and it kind of helped that we played them before for that last regular season game," Prim said. "We knew what to expect because they were fresh in our mind. We had to stop them from dong what they did in the first game. A lot of people didn't think we would be able to beat them because nobody else in our conference had beat them. We felt great that we beat a second-ranked team for the year and we did it on the way to the Atlantic-10 Conference championship so that was probably one of the highlights of our year

"(In the title game) we didn't start off too well, we were down 12-0 and we thought 'we have to get our stuff together or we came down here to lose.' We got all of our jitters out and once the second half came  we kept going trying to cut the lead down and at the last second we ended up having the lead. It felt great cutting down the nets. There were a lot of emotions, we were scared that we might lose but we were able to hold it all together and win."

Now she gets to play in the NCAA tournament as a senior.

“This is a chance of the lifetime, not a lot of people have a chance to win a conference championship or make it to the NCAAs,” said Prim, who is second on the Hawks with 93 assists and 23 3-pointers. “I am going out with a bang. We won a conference championship, we made it to the NCAAs and it kind of just caps everything I wanted for myself and my team from the moment I stepped foot onto the Saint Joe's campus.

"Once I was cutting down the nets, this is what four years of hard work has come down to. It is great to leave off on a great note even though our season is not over yet; we are still playing and want to go as far as we can. It is kind of leaving on a good note and that is what I am left with after four years, a conference championship and NCAA bid. It is just amazing. It definitely makes the four years I have been here worth it.”

One of the intriguing aspects of the Bridgeport regional is that 10 of the 11 Connecticut natives on rosters of NCAA tournament rosters are in that region with the lone exception being Villanova's Rachel Roberts.

Here is the chart I put together to run with the story I wrote on Prim for tomorrow's edition of the Register.

Player College Yr. Pos. Hometown First-round opponent
Briana Brown St. John’s Jr. G Norwalk Dayton
Averaging 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds and has started 28 games
Heather Buck UConn Sr. F Stonington Idaho
Has 21 points and 24 rebounds in 25 games this season
Casey Dulin Marist Jr. G Milford Michigan State
Second on the team in scoring and leads Red Foxes with 106 assists
Kastine Evans Kentucky So. G Salem Navy
Norwich Free Academy graduate one of four Wildcats with at least 20 3-pointers
Bria Holmes West Virginia Fr. G New Haven Delaware
Hillhouse grad is third on team with 21 3-pointers and is top-scoring reserve
Keylantra Langley St. John’s Jr. G Bridgeport Dayton
Former Lauralton Hall star one of two reserves averaging more than 10 minutes per game
Abby Martucci Quinnipiac Fr. G Waterford Maryland
Sitting out the season as a redshirt
Ashley Perez St. John’s Fr. G Manchester Dayton
Six of eight field goals are 3-pointers for former Manchester High standout
Ashley Prim Saint Joseph’s Sr., G Ansonia Vanderbilt
Former Kolbe star second on Hawks with 93 assists and 23 3-pointers
Rachel Roberts Villanova Sr. G Marlborough Michigan
Former Mercy High star leads Wildcats with 62 3-pointers and 74 assists
Sarah Royals Albany So. G Torrington North Carolina
Has started 29 games and leads team with 112 assists


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