Sulejmani Leads All Scorers with Career-High Showing, Assumption Holds Off Ravens on the Road

Lisa Sulejmani (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)
Lisa Sulejmani (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)

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

WORCESTER, Mass. (February 20, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University women's basketball freshman guard Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, Vt.) scored a career and game-high 18 points during a 67-51 loss to Northeast-10 Conference opponent Assumption College Wednesday during "Play 4 Kay Night" at the Laska Gymnasium. With the win, the Greyhounds improve to 13-13, 8-11 NE10 while the Ravens lost their 20th game and 17th in league play.

Sulejmani bettered her previous personal best of 17 points which she reached three times against Assumption (12/18), at Southern Connecticut State (1/23) and against American International (2/2). She also handed out a game-high six assists, her third highest total of the campaign and shot 7-of-15 (46.7%) from the floor and made two three-pointers.

Teammates Sophia Holmes (Oakland, Maine) and Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) joined Sulejmani in double figures with 16 and 11 markers respectively. Holmes corralled six boards while Lipinski snared a game-high seven caroms and came up with three steals.

Four players for Assumption scored in double digits. Meghan Cramb chipped in 18 points on a 4-of-7 (57.1%) three-point performance. Jordan Hawkins racked up 12 points, seven rebounds – four offensive while Brianna Capacchione filled the box score with 11 points, six assists, and four rebounds.

Assumption capitalized on the Raven errors scoring 17 points off their 21 turnovers. They also outscored the guests 40-to-20 in the paint.

Lipinski began the game using a post spin move in the restricted area and banked her layup attempt off the glass for a deuce. Lipinski followed that post score up with her first career long-range conversion from the top of the point upping the Pierce lead to 5-0 1:30 into the showdown. With the shot clock winding down, Sulejmani dished off a driving baseline pass to freshman guard Rylee Skinner (Leominster, Mass.) in the left corner who swished home the jumper expanding the early Raven edge to 7-2. Two Cramb free throws brought it back to a one-possession game, 7-4.

A three and a half minute scoring drought ensued then Morgan O'Donnell banged in a layup down low making the deficit one point for the Hounds. Capacchione cut towards the rack and connected on her first shot attempt to give the hosts their first lead 8-7. Sulejmani tallied four in a row for the Ravens, one of two at the stripe and a right-wing trifecta to regain the lead towards the Raven side 11-10. Two straight Assumption buckets with 1:12 left gave them a 14-11 end of quarter lead.

The Greyhounds stretch of 10 consecutive markers carried over into the second quarter with Hawkins tallying two post move scores to open up a nine-point, 20-11 lead. The Ravens hoped to stop the hosts momentum and did so one possession following their timeout as Sulejmani slashed through the lane for two. The Ravens turned up the pace and Sulejmani made a sweet pass to Lipinski for an easy bucket dropping the Raven deficit to five, 20-15 with 6:18 left before the break. At the 4:10 mark, Lipinski was double-teamed on the left block and she found her open teammate sophomore forward Claudia Tucci (Trumbull, Conn.) on the right block. Lipinski then capitalized on the Raven press coming up with her third theft of the half which led to a Holmes pull up left elbow jumper making it a one-point 22-21 game.

Assumption called a timeout and immediately concluded the 10-2 Raven run with a Cramb catch and shoot three-ball reestablishing a slim two possession 25-21 lead. Hawkins again racked up another bucket with under a minute to play increasing the score to 29-23, however, Holmes buried a three-pointer from the top of the key with 11 ticks left which made the Ravens trail by three, 29-26 at the intermission.

Holmes brought the Ravens within one twice over the quarter opening three minutes. A 10-2 Assumption scoring spurt upped their advantage to nine 41-32 when Caterina Fonseca stole the rock and fed O'Donnell in transition with 3:44 left in the stanza. Back-to-back Sulejmani strong takes brought the Crimson and Grey within two possessions, 41-36. Cramb ended the quarter burying a three wide open in the right corner pushing the Hounds in front 46-36.

The hosts started the fourth with eight straight markers part of a 13-0 binge to move in the driver's seat at 54-36. At the 5:45 point, Cramb knocked down another wide-open trey this time from the left corner to grow the Greyhounds advantage to 59-39. The Ravens would not go away as Sulejmani and Holmes drained two consecutive long-range attempts to make it a 14-point margin. Capacchione and Cramb ended any hopes of a Raven comeback with two threes of their own.

The Crimson and Grey head back to The Fieldhouse Saturday for their home finale against conference and interstate opponent Southern New Hampshire University with tip-off set for 1:30 p.m.

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/).