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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Week to remember for Connecticut basketball?

Monday's UConn/South Carolina garnered the majority of the attention with good reason but it is far from the only women's basketball game of note involving a Connecticut team this week.

I was at the first meeting of the season between Quinnipiac and Marist when the host Bobcats handled perennial MAAC champion Marist with ridiculous ease. The teams meet again today at 5 p.m. in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and this game is going to say a lot about whether Quinnipiac is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the MAAC.

On Saturday are big games in the Ivy League and Northeast Conference.

Had Yale not lost to Harvard the last time out, Saturday's 7 p.m. game against Princeton could have been a matchup of teams with perfect records in Ivy League play. Still, Princeton is the last remaining undefeated women's Division I team. Earlier in the day Central Connecticut State, the first-place team in the Northeast Conference, will play at second-place Robert Morris at 1 p.m.

I did some checking and six of the seven Division I teams have winning records just a season after only three of the seven Division I squads had winning marks last season.

Here's a profile of the state's women's college basketball teams not named UConn

ALBERTUS MAGNUS (DIVISION III)
Record: 11-11
Olivia Bolden, a freshman from South Windsor is averaging 17.6 points per game. Junior Kelsey Pendagast from Shelton averages 11.9 points per game.
Did you know? There are no seniors on the team and the five freshmen combine for nearly half of the team's points

BRIDGEPORT (DIVISION II)
Record: 4-18
Tiara Aziz leads three players who score in double digits with her average of 14.7 points per game aided by 128 trips to the free-throw line in 22 games while Shannon Holt has 47 blocks in 16 games.
Did you know? Team has three players from Sweden, one from Greece and another from Germany on its roster.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE (DIVISION I)
Record: 15-8
Incredible balance on offense has the Blue Devils in first place in the Northeast Conference as eight players have taken between 122-190 shots this season.  Junior TeJahne Malone, who averages 10.9 points per game, is the team's only double-digit scorer.
Did you know? Blue Devils have led at halftime in 10 of 11 NEC games this season

COAST GUARD (DIVISION III)
Record: 14-7
Juniors Meghan Fornaro and Torie Sutherland are the team's top two scorers averaging 16.4 and 11.5 points per game respectively. They have combined to score in double figures 31 times including nine 20-point performances.
Did you know? Coast Guard has at least 10 offensive rebounds in each of the last nine games.

CONNECTICUT COLLEGE (DIVISION III)
Record: 15-7
Freshman Mairead Hynes (16.2) and sophomore Liz Malman (15.6) both have 30-point games with Hynes recording a 20 point, 20 rebound effort in her sixth career game with Malman has 11 games with at least three steals.
Did you know? The Camels are closing in on a fourth-straight winning season after failing to post a winning record in previous 14 campaigns.

EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE (DIVISION III)
Record: 15-7
Jill Ritrosky, a junior from Pittsfield, Mass. averages 12.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Is team's only double-figure scorer and already a two-time captain. Taylor McBride, with 93 assists and 51 turnovers, is the Warriors' floor leader.
Did you know? One of best defensive teams in the country, 12 opponents failed to crack the 50-point mark against ECSU.

FAIRFIELD (DIVISION I)
Record: 11-13
Casey Smith and Kristin Schatzlein have been the two more consistent offensive threats. Smith leads team in scoring (12.3 PPG) and with 22 blocks while Schatzlein has 52 3-pointers, a team-high 31 steals and has 66 assists.
Did you know? Fairfield allowed Manhattan to score 26 points, the lowest mark for an opponent since Fairfield moved to Division I.

HARTFORD (DIVISION I)
Record: 13-12
Guilford's Amber Bepko, who scored her 1,000th career point earlier this season, leads the Hawks in scoring averaging 13 points per game and also had a team-high 76 3-pointers and 44 steals. Fellow senior Cherelle Moore contributes 12.6 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game.
Did you know? Bepko is one of two players in Hartford history with more than 200 career 3-pointers.

MITCHELL (DIVISION III)
Record: 8-12
Amanda Garcia, a junior from New Britain, leads the team in scoring with an average of 14.1 points per game and has already established career highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocked shots.
Did you know? The top five scorers are all Connecticut natives.

NEW HAVEN (DIVISION II)
Record: 20-3
Senior Aquillan Hayes leads the nationally-ranked Chargers in scoring (17.8), rebounding (9.5) as well as assists and blocked shots. Classmate Bria Moore, a former Career High star, adds 10.4 points per game and has a team-high 38 steals as the Chargers have gone from a 3-23 team during their freshman seasons to a 20-3 squad.
Did you know? Chargers have won 20 games for the first time in the last seven seasons.

QUINNIPIAC (DIVISION I)
Record: 21-3
The Bobcats feature an all-senior starting lineup led by Samantha Guastella, who is averaging a team-leading 13 points per game. Jasmine Martin and Michigan transfer Val Driscoll are also double-figure scorers Gillian Abshire leads the nation with an assist/turnover ratio of 4.06 while Nikoline Ostergaard has a 2.1 assist/turnover ratio
Did you know? Quinnipiac's bench contributes 27 points per game as the Bobcats are one of 13 Division I teams with perfect conference records.

POST UNIVERSITY
Record: 5-19
Leading scorer Deaisia Acklin has three 20-point games and also leads the Eagles with 49 steals highlighted by two five-steal games. She is also just one of two players to start every game and just one of five to appear in every game.
Did you know? Jacquelynne Pugh was 5 of 6 from 3-point range as Post recorded season high 99 points in win over Felician.

SACRED HEART (DIVISION I)
Record: 11-9
Junior guard Hannah Kimmel recorded her seventh 20-point game of the season with 27 points to go with 17 rebounds as Sacred Heart won its fourth straight game with a win over Wagner. Kimmel, who averages 16.5 points per game, is one of three players averaging more than 10 points per game.
Did you know? Pioneers are 7-0 when pulling down at least 45 rebounds this season

ST. JOSEPH (DIVISION III)
Record: 8-14
Former NVL rivals Heather Framski and Brianna Ferraro are wrapping up an impressive four-year run as teammates. Framski, a former Woodland star, is team's leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and will finish among the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots while Ferraro, who played at Holy Cross in Waterbury, is averaging 12.2 points per game and is among the top 10 in points, assists..
Did you know? Framski became the second player in program history to record more than 700 career rebounds and first win more than 100 career blocked shots.

SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE
Record: 13-10
Junior Jackie Beathea, who has 16 double-doubles in 23 games, has the Owls on the verge of their first winning season since 2011-12 season. Beathea is second in Division II with an average of 5 offensive rebounds per game and is also in the top 20 in rebounding and double-doubles.Classmate Nicole Grossbard runs the offense and has 121 assists.
Did you know? The Owls have had the same starting lineup for all 23 games with seniors Sydni Lester and Mariah Hankton joins Beathea, Grossbard and Danielle Powell in the starting five.

TRINITY (DIVISION III)
Record: 8-15
Mackenzie Grffin has three straight 20-point games and is averaging a team-leading 15.7 points per game as a junior while Taylor Higgins, one of two seniors on the roster,  is the other double-digit scorer.
Did you know? Head coach Wendy Davis, a former UConn star, led the Bantams to five winning seasons in the last six seasons heading into this year.


WESLEYAN (DIVISION III)
Record: 9-11
Brenna Diggins, s sophomore from leads the team with an average of 9.7 points per game and is one of eight players averaging at least 18 minutes per game. Senior Dreisen Heath, who averages 6.3 points per game is a former Hamden Hall star and only Connecticut native on the roster
Did you know? Sophomore Danielle Gervacio played with UConn's Saniya Chong at Ossining High School.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE (DIVISION III)
Record: 15-7
Senior Caroline Brasa, a former East Catholic star, has overcome serious knee injuries and is on the verge of hitting the 1,000-point plateau. Brasa is the team's only double-figure scorer averaging 14.3 points per games and is also the team leader in rebounds, 3-pointers and blocked shots. Four other players contribute between 6.3-8.8 points per game.
Did you know? Samantha Smth, a sophomore from Wallingford, is averaging 17.4 points over the last five games.

YALE (DIVISION I)
Record: 11-9
When leading scorer and team captain Sarah Halejian saw her brilliant career at Yale end with a knee injury 12 games into her final season, not many were expecting the Bulldogs to be running neck and neck with Princeton atop the Ivy League standings. Freshman Tamara Simpson, averaging 11.5 points in Ivy League play, is one of a host of Yale players who have thrived in expanded offensive roles.
Did you know? Bulldogs won their first seven games since Halejian's season-ending injury before losing to Harvard on Saturday.

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