The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



Got an idea? A concern? A problem? Let The Huntington News know:

Northeastern women’s basketball shoots for the moon this season

Kayla Shiao
Senior guard Derin Erdogan dribbles the ball up the court. Last season, Erdogan led the Huskies in points per game (15), assists (125), and three-pointers (67).

After ending last season with unexpected success, the Northeastern women’s basketball team has a big target on its back. The Huskies ended the regular season with an overall record of 18-11 and a conference record of 13-5, breaking the school record for conference wins. Advancing into the conference tournament as a No. 3 seed, the team had high hopes but fell to No. 7 Monmouth in the CAA semifinals. Even after the hard-fought loss, the team hopes to continue its momentum from the previous season and achieve its ambitions for the current season under new leadership.

In April, former head coach Bridgette Mitchell accepted the role of head coach at Fordham University, leaving the Huskies without anyone to guide them. Two weeks later, Priscilla Edwards-Lloyd took the helm after previous assistant coaching stints at Clemson University, Providence College and St. John’s College. 

“It’s been a long time coming as an assistant just working my way up to the ranks,” Edwards-Lloyd said. “You dream and you work everyday to get to this point so I’m just excited about that.” 

The team has experienced significant change over the past seasons, with two head coach changes over the past three years. Additionally, Nicole Ambrose was added to the staff in July as director of operations, and Whitney Edwards, who had served as assistant head coach of the team from 2017-2020, was promoted to associate head coach. 

“Change isn’t always easy, and this is a group that’s experienced a lot of change over the years, and so for them it would be easy to be reluctant when they’ve been the opposite of that, and that’s really been a fun part of this journey,” Edwards-Lloyd said.

Despite the seemingly endless shifting, the Huskies have remained a competitive program. Last season, senior guard Derin Erdogan earned All-CAA first team honors, and junior guard Gemima Motema was named to second team. Erdogan was the team’s leading scorer last season with 15.0 points per game, but attributes much

Junior guard Gemima Motema looks to get around Boston College’s line of defense. Motema led the Huskies in steals (54) and ranked eighth in the CAA last season, earning a spot on the All-CAA Second Team. (Kayla Shiao)

of her success to her teammates. 

“The reason I got this award or honor was because of my teammates, to be honest,” Erdogan said. “They were helping me a lot last season, I was struggling, getting frustrated, but they were always helping me out, they were always there for me.”

The team was ranked third in the 2023-24 CAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll, a jump from the previous season, where they were expected to finish eighth. This has created pressure for the Huskies, but they are hoping to still perform at high levels. 

“They have high hopes and a lot of things that they want to accomplish as a team,” Edwards-Lloyd said. “It’s going to be hard at times to not think about what people think you should be or how you should be performing and recognizing it’s a long season and we’ve gotta stay the course. Coming into this year, it may feel different for a lot of them because they had success last year but it wasn’t expected, whereas this year, they have a target on their back.” 

Even with the pressure of last season, the team is excited and confident about what’s to come. “Being able to step into this season being confident but aware that it may feel a little bit different right from the jump that they’re looked at in a different way, and that’s a good thing,” Edwards-Lloyd said.

In order to continue to improve, Erdogan believes that it is important to have better communication. 

“The practices we’re having right now are more focused on the chaotic moments and how to stay connected and how to have effective communication,” Erdogan said.

With the start of the season comes the addition of freshman guard Yirsy Quélez and freshman forward Sophia Carlisle.

Quélez, from St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, Massachusetts, tallied 1,323 points during her high school career, achieving Catholic Central League MVP for the 2021-2022 season. Quélez is also the third leading scorer of all time for St. Marys, winning the state championship in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

Carlisle joins the Huskies from Bishop O’Connell High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where she earned Washington Catholic Athletic Conference All-Conference honorable mention for the 2021-22 season in addition to earning all-Arlington High School basketball honors.

The team travels to Stonehill University on Monday at 6:00 p.m. for its season opener and faces UMass on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. for its home opener.

With the success of last season, the Huskies have high hopes for what is to come this season. 

“We really want to win the CAA title this year. We really want to go to March Madness. I think we have potential, too,” Erdogan said. “The only people who can stop us are us.”

About the Contributor
Kayla Shiao
Kayla Shiao, Design Editor
Kayla Shiao (she/her) is a first-year Doctor of Pharmacy student and Design Editor. Prior to becoming Design Editor, she worked for The News as a designer, copy editor, photographer and occasional writer. She is an avid sports photographer with a love for detail and page layout.
More to Discover