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Women’s basketball is off to the best start in program history

Sophomore+guard+Stella+Clark+looks+to+take+on+a+defender+in+a+game+from+last+season+against+Delaware.+%2F+File+photo+by+Catherine+Argyrople.
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Women’s basketball is off to the best start in program history

Sophomore guard Stella Clark looks to take on a defender in a game from last season against Delaware. / File photo by Catherine Argyrople.

Sophomore guard Stella Clark looks to take on a defender in a game from last season against Delaware. / File photo by Catherine Argyrople.

Catherine Argyrople

Sophomore guard Stella Clark looks to take on a defender in a game from last season against Delaware. / File photo by Catherine Argyrople.

Catherine Argyrople

Catherine Argyrople

Sophomore guard Stella Clark looks to take on a defender in a game from last season against Delaware. / File photo by Catherine Argyrople.

Vincent van Oorschot, news correspondent

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After their first back-to-back losses of the season, NU’s season record has dropped to 12-3, but it is still the best start in the program’s history.

Senior guard Jess Genco presides over the top scorer mantle, averaging 19.3 points per game. She also leads in assists with 3.7 per game and steals with 1.7. Senior forward Gabby Giacone leads the Huskies on the boards with 6.3 rebounds per game, which is a career high. Of those, 2.4 have been on the offense glass.

Here’s what happened over the break from Northeastern’s women’s basketball team:

At Providence, Dec. 15 (65-59 win)

After a long 10-day break coming off their nine-point victory against Fairfield, Northeastern headed to Providence, Rhode Island to continue its three-game away stint against a solid Friars outfit. The Huskies started off well, keeping to their strengths that they have displayed so far this season, with star shooters Genco, junior guard Shannon Todd and freshman guard Katie May all finding their mark in the first half, going 7-13 from deep. The Huskies led Providence by three heading into the second half. Once again, sharpshooter Genco made her mark on the game, lighting up the court with four threes in the third quarter alone and pushing her team’s lead out to as many as 13. A late push by the Friars caused a little concern, but cool, calm and collected free-throw shooting by sophomore guard Stella Clark sealed the win for Northeastern, continuing their perfect start to the season (9-0).

At Marist, Dec. 18 (84-90 loss)

A turbulent first half, which saw dominant quarters by Marist and Northeastern, set up for a high-quality game that in the end didn’t pan out for NU. The loss to the Red Foxes cut short Northeastern’s nine-game unbeaten run, which equated to the program’s best start since 1968-69. Stand-out performances included Genco, as she provided yet another 30-point performance while shooting 50 percent from deep (6-12). Giacone recorded a double-double, notching 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Maine, Dec. 22 (63-55 win)

The Huskies returned home to the Cabot Center to face the Maine Black Bears in what was a much-needed win for the Huskies after their first loss of the season. The Huskies shared their points across the board. Giacone, junior forward Ayanna Dublin and Clark each scored in double digits in the eight-point win. Dublin also grabbed 10 rebounds on top of her 11 points to record her second career double-double.

Elon, Jan. 4 (79-71 win)

The Huskies kicked off the start of CAA play and the new year against Elon, who prior to the game were 5-7. NU struggled to get out in front early,  trailing by a point at the end of the first. The Huskies took control in the second quarter, scoring 28 points. As Genco nailed her second three of the night, she broke Northeastern’s program record for all-time three-point field goals with 246 (previously held by Melissa Kowalski, 2000-04). The Huskies pushed their lead out to 12 to close out a strong first half performance. A 12-0 run by the Phoenix cut the Huskies lead down to just eight points late in the fourth quarter, but the Huskies were able to close out a resilient Elon squad 79-71. The performance of the night was put in by May, as she scored a career-high 18 points and notched her first career double-double with 10 rebounds. This also included a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range. The Huskies continued the program’s best start at 11-1, while also beginning CAA play with a win.

William & Mary, Jan. 6 (88-74 win)

To finish off winter break, the Huskies hosted William & Mary, a team that has had a good start to the season as well, and it showed early. Both teams shot at a high efficiency in the first quarter but thanks to Genco’s buzzer-beater, the Huskies had their noses ahead 22-20. The Tribe fought hard to stay with the Huskies throughout the game, but accurate shooting in the second half put the Husky lead into double digits, as they scored 50 points in the second half alone. Giacone dominated on the boards with 12 rebounds and 13 points, her fourth career double-double. Genco put on a shooting display with 30 points while also going 12-14 from the line.

Summary

The Huskies went into winter break hopeful to play good team basketball, and came out of the William & Mary game with a sense of accomplishment while maintaining the best start in the program’s history at 12-1.

“There was a lot of pressure off the girls who had just completed their finals, so they could really focus on their basketball,” head coach Kelly Cole said.

They went 4-1 over the stretch. All that remains is the CAA portion of the season.

The Huskies are looking like serious contenders for the CAA title.

They’re home this Friday against Drexel, then for a bout against Delaware on Sunday afternoon at Matthews Arena. Then they leave for New York the following Sunday to take on Hofstra.

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