Ga­gan’s 25 points not enough in road de­feat to Quak­ers

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - By BREN­DAN McGAIR bm­c­gair@paw­tuck­et­

PROV­I­DENCE – Even in de­feat, St. Raphael girls bas­ket­ball head coach Tammy Drape could find lit­tle fault with her team’s per­for­mance.

Alas, had the Saints taken even the slight­est ad­van­tage of the plethora of of­fen­sive re­bounds they col­lected and the 15 turnovers that Moses Brown com­mit­ted, per­haps Mon­day’s Di­vi­sion I-Cen­tral con­test at the Quak­ers’ gym may have fea­tured a dif­fer­ent tune.

Led by 22 points from ju­nior cen­ter/for­ward Oluchi Ezemma, Moses Brown shook off a stiff chal­lenge to pre­vail by a 59-51 count. It wasn’t all Ezemma as the Quak­ers (9-3) fea­tured bal­anced scor­ing with Tori Mat­son and Vic­to­ria Carulo each pump­ing in 11 points and Jes­sica Ry­lan­der net­ting nine points.

SRA, which on Mon­day played the first of three games this week, saw se­nior star Kasey Ga­gan lead all scor­ers with 25 points and pull down 11 re­bounds. Fel­low SRA se­nior and co-cap­tain An­gelique Wash­ing­ton added 10 points and 12 re­bounds.

The Saints, who have now dropped two straight in league play af­ter win­ning three of their pre­vi­ous four, were right there with the Quak­ers, win­ners of four of five en­ter­ing Mon­day. A layup by Paris Brown-Coker (four points) tied the game at 40-40 with un­der seven min­utes re­main­ing, but that’s when Moses Brown took con­trol for good be­hind an 11-1 run that pinned SRA in a 51-41 hole with 2:56 left.

The Saints’ last gasp fea­tured a full-court press that did the job as far as deny­ing the first shot at­tempted by Moses Brown.

Col­lect­ing the de­fen­sive board was an­other story as the Quak­ers closed out the game mak­ing their fi­nal eight free throws. Many of the team’s 25 trips to the line were the re­sult of crash­ing the of­fen­sive glass and draw­ing the foul im­me­di­ately.

“We needed those quick traps, but that’s when fa­tigue may have set in with some of my kids,” Drape said.

SRA, which at­tempted 15 free throws, re­sponded in a ma­jor way af­ter fall­ing be­hind 2210 in the first half. Moses Brown had taken con­trol be­hind a 15-0 run that on the sur­face looked to spell a long rest of the night for the vis­i­tors.

With Ga­gan lead­ing the charge, the Saints closed to within 29-26 at half­time. A fol­low by Wash­ing­ton in the clos­ing sec­onds helped cap a 16-5 surge that clearly had SRA be­liev­ing as the sec­ond half got un­der­way.

A banked-in three by Ga­gan and a strong take by Sierra Gonzalez (four points) gave the Saints (3-8) a brief 31-29 lead be­fore the Quak­ers re­sponded be­hind six points from Ezemma and a three by Carulo to go up 38-33. Moses Brown con­tin­ued to en­joy the up­per hand but couldn’t truly put down the youth­ful Saints un­til the clos­ing min­utes.

“They kept their com­po­sure and should have noth­ing to be ashamed of,” Drape said. “At the end of the day it’s a re­build­ing year and we’re a young team, but a game like this is a great con­fi­dence booster go­ing into Wed­nes­day.”

That night will see the Saints host state ti­tle con­tender Bar­ring­ton. The busy week con­cludes Fri­day with a home game against Bay View.

ST. RAPHAEL (51): Sierra Gonzalez 2 0-0 4, Kasey Ga­gan 7 9-13 25, Monet Gail­loux 4 0-0 8, Page O’Brien 0 0-2 0, Paris Brown-Coker 2 0-0 4, An­gelique Wash­ing­ton 5 0-0 10. To­tals: 20 9-15 51. MOSES BROWN (59): Oluchi Ezemma 7 8-11 22, Tori Mat­son 4 2-2 11, Vic­to­ria Carulo 3 2-2 11, Ava Bi­afore 1 0-0 2, Caro­line Veale 0 0-0 0, Megan Themis­to­cle 1 2-6 4, Jes­sica Ry­lan­der 2 4-4 9. To­tals: 18 18-25 59. Half­time: MB 29-26. Three-point field goals: SRA 2 (Kasey Ga­gan 2); Moses Brown 5 (Vic­to­ria Carulo 3, Tori Mat­son, Jes­sica Ry­lan­der).

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