Story by Catherine Morrison
Photo by Sarah Olender
In their second conference game, the Northeastern women’s basketball team looked to make a statement: that their first conference game wasn’t a fluke and that they weren’t deserving of being ranked dead last in the preseason CAA polls.
Rookie standout Claudia Soriano, however, was not able to contribute towards Northeastern revenge as she was not in the building for Saturday’s game.
Meanwhile, their opponent Hofstra University was just trying to make it through this game without falling down on the ground essentially. Presumably due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Pride only had seven available players and had not played a game since Dec. 11, almost an entire month ago. Their missing players accounted for 64% of their points, meaning Hoftra had an uphill battle on Saturday afternoon despite being ranked fifth in the preseason conference polls.
Hofstra got the scoring going with a three-pointer from forward Sorelle Ineza just a minute into the game, getting the lead for the Pride. This would be the first and only time Hofstra was in the lead, as once Northeastern delivered on a couple of layups, the Huskies never looked back.
Kendall Currence, who has been fantastic for the Huskies and scored a career high 27 points in their previous game against UNCW, was hot early with a breakaway layup halfway into the first quarter. Along with some excellent direction and a shot outside of the three-point line by senior guard Katie May, Northeastern finished the first quarter at 17-12 Huskies.
Northeastern tried to breakaway from Hofstra, with some excitement shooting by forward Izzy Larson, but Hofstra clung on within range despite beginning to show some exhaustion from having a dearth of players. With just one second left, Pride guard Jahsyni Knight made an incredible buzzer shot to get two. Northeastern only scored three more points than the Pride in the second quarter, but the Huskies were just biding their time until Hofstra began to crack.
Hofstra used halftime to rest and recalibrate, and came out swinging in the third quarter with a four-point run with a jump shot by Ineza and a layup by Jaala Henry. However, despite the initial burst of energy, the Pride was tired. Northeastern took advantage, steamrolling ahead at the end of the third quarter with a 5-0 run, helped by a fast break from Currence, who was four for four in the third.
Northeastern kept the momentum going in the fourth quarter when freshman guard Gemima Motema made a great defensive rebound to breakaway for a layup. Forward Emily Calabrese kept it going with a breakaway for two, and then drew a foul to add another point to the board. Motema really made her presence known in the fourth, drawing a foul just after Calabrese’s to add two more to the boards, increasing Northeastern’s lead over Hofstra to 19 points, the highest it would be all game.
One strength of the Huskies team is every player feels like they can take a shot if they want to, something head coach Bridgette Mitchell has stressed since day one. Despite a valiant effort by Hofstra to not let the game get too far out of reach, Northeastern kept the lead in the double digits for the entire fourth quarter, securing their second conference victory.
Northeastern will look to play Drexel University in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.