Women’s Basketball Opens 2019-20 Season With Win at Roberts Wesleyan

Rylee Skinner (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)
Rylee Skinner (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (November 8, 2019) – Sophomore Rylee Skinner (Leominster, Mass.) set a new personal-best, scoring a game-high 12 points for the Franklin Pierce University Ravens women's basketball team who kicked off the 2019-2020 campaign with a 61-48 victory over Roberts Wesleyan College at the Redhawks Tip-off Classic in Rochester, N.Y. Friday night.

With the win, the Ravens start the year with a 1-0 mark for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign. It was also the first win in head coach Mark Swasey's second stint on the bench for the crimson and grey.

Skinner added five rebounds – three offensive, one block and two steals on the evening. Classmate Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) pitched in with ten points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with five rebounds – three offensive, a block, and three steals while Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, VT.) contributed 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Defensively the Ravens held Roberts Wesleyan to shoot just 28.6% (16-of-56) from the field including 18.2% from three-point range (4-of-22) while forcing 20 turnovers including 13 steals.

Madison McCormick scored ten points to go with two rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench to pace the Redhawks offensive attack in the losing effort.

Roberts Wesleyan would score the first points of the game on a jumper by Tashayla Sutorius, but the Ravens took the lead thanks to a steady diet of free throws as they scored the next eight points, including four from the foul line. They rode that scoring spurt to a 17-4 run to close out the quarter leading 17-6. As a team, the Ravens connected on nine of their eleven free throw attempts while Skinner finished with seven points in the opening stanza for Pierce.

In the second quarter, the Redhawks would cut the deficit outscoring the Ravens 14-10 thanks in part to a pair of treys, but Franklin Pierce still led 27-20 at the break.

Skinner came out of the locker room attacking the basket drawing an and1 and converting a freebie to open up a 10 point, 30-20 lead for Pierce. Their advantage grew to 12 off a Lipinski lay-in on the block, but the Redhawks responded with a 16-2 run of their own to take the lead 36-34 with 3:19 to go in the quarter. Back-to-back layups by Lipinski gave the Ravens the lead back until Roberts Wesleyan re-tied the game at 38 on a jumper by Emily Miller. Junior guard Demi Akins (Cambridge, Mass.) made a layup in the final minute to give the Ravens a 40-38 edge after three quarters.

Franklin Pierce would pull away early in the fourth quarter by scoring the first seven points of the frame on a layup by Sulejmani, a three-ball by Sophia Holmes (Oakland, Maine) and a layup from Akins as the Ravens outscored Roberts Wesleyan 21-10 in the final quarter.

Holmes struggled shooting by going 3-of-12 and just 2-of-7 from beyond the arc, but still finished with eight points to go with a game-high seven rebounds. Akins added nine points on 4-of-5 shooting while going connecting on one triple.

As a team, the Ravens dominated in transition scoring 18 points against just five for Roberts Wesleyan on the fast break.

The Ravens will play their second and final game in the Redhawks Tip-Off Classic when they face Daemen College on Saturday afternoon with tip-off set for 3:30 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 apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://shopfpuravens.com). You can also follow the women's basketball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensWBB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/franklin_pierce_wbb/).