Sulejmani Double-Doubles with 13 Dimes as AIC Pulls Away Late

Lisa Sulejmani (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Lisa Sulejmani (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

This Franklin Pierce University women's basketball recap is presented by Belletetes

RINDGE, N.H. (February 2, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University women's basketball freshman guard Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, Vt.) tallied her first ever double-double by matching a personal-best 17 points and handing out a career-high 13 assists as the Ravens faltered late in the fourth quarter during a 77-66 loss to Northeast-10 Conference opponent American International College Saturday afternoon at The Fieldhouse. With the win, the Yellow Jackets move to 11-11, 6-8 NE10 while the Ravens dropped their 15th battle of the season and 12th league game.

The reigning NE10 Rookie of the Week was only four helpers away from tying the program record of 17 set by Wanda Lukehart vs. Bloomfield in 1986. It was her first double-digit assist game of the campaign as she easily bested her previous personal-high of seven set this past Wednesday at home against New Haven. 12 of her 17 markers came in the second half as did eight of her 13 assists.

Teammate Sophia Holmes (Oakland, Maine) notched her 12th consecutive double-digit scoring game dropping 16 points for Pierce with five rebounds. Freshman Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) chipped in 14 points, a team-best eight rebounds, two steals and one block while going 5-of-10 (50%) from the hardwood. Classmate Emma Carter (Bristol, Vt.) tacked on six points and five boards in 21 minutes off the bench.

For AIC, Alyssa Guyon led all scorers with a game-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds. Dana Watts dominated on both ends of the court with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six helpers in 27 minutes of play. 19 of the guests 42 rebounds were on the offensive end which led to 16 second-chance points, however, the Ravens bettered them in the paint by a 36-to-26 margin.

The Yellow Jackets began the battle holding the Ravens to 0-for-7 shooting over the opening five minutes until Lipinski banked a right block layup attempt off the window to stop an 8-2 spurt at the 4:49 mark. Rashana Siders knocked down her third three-ball of the quarter on the right wing to push the AIC edge to nine, 17-8. Nyrie Holliman increased the guest advantage to a high of 10 by burying a jumper at the 1:20 mark to increase the margin to 20-10.

FPU went on a 9-0 run of their own to come within one point 20-19. Sulejmani made it a two-possession game, 20-15 as she started the second quarter by draining a left corner three. Two Holmes freebies and a Lipinski turnaround layup on the right block concluded the run. Both squads swapped points as the Raven deficit hovered around one to three points as a sophomore forward Freya Cooney (Woodbridge, England) second chance post drive following a Carter offensive board gave the Ravens their first lead at 25-24. Watts and Dominique Boyd reestablished a one-possession Yellow Jacket lead, 28-25. Freshman guard Paris Wilkey (Lynn, Mass.) dumped in the last points of the stanza when she sank a mid-range two at the top of the point to make it 28-27 at the break.

Pierce started the second half making their first five shot attempts to lead by a high of six points after a Rylee Skinner (Leominster, Mass.) take to the rack off a Sulejmani dish. Still holding that six-point advantage at the 4:55 mark, AIC erupted for eight consecutive points via four by Guyon, a mid-range elbow jumper to deadlock the score 40-40 and two free throw conversions to move ahead 42-40. Holmes regained the lead towards her teams side 43-40 popping and knocking in a downtown connection on the left wing to stop the spurt. AIC took a two-point lead at the conclusion of the third quarter by outproducing the Ravens 4-1 over the final 1:23 of the period.

Sulejmani kicked off the fourth hitting a second chance trifecta on the right wing to move the Crimson and Grey ahead 47-46. Sulejmani tied the game a couple of possessions later with strong hoop and harm through the teeth of the Yellow Jackets defense, 54-54 with 7:42 left to play. After the take, AIC jumped back ahead, this time by nine points, 64-55 on the strength of a 10-1 scoring binge. Sulejmani brought the Raven deficit down to five points, 67-62 at the 2:01 mark, but another 10-1 spurt clinched the W for the visiting squad.

The Ravens travel cross state to conference foe Saint Anselm College on Wednesday, February 6th for a 5:30 p.m. showdown.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens ), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce women's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://www.fpuravens.com/store). You can also follow the women's basketball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensWBB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/franklin_pierce_wbb/).