Genco, NU avenge defeat
Do-it-all senior lifts Huskies past Tigers
Northeastern point guard Jess Genco was playmaker, ball-handler and scorer in yesterday’s 77-68 victory against Towson at the Cabot Center.
The senior from Scranton, Pa., scored 16 points with 11 assists to notch her second double-double of the season. She dropped a pair of shots from downtown to extend her school record for made 3-pointers to 274.
“She does it all,” NU head coach Kelly Cole said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but she just brings a lot, and she’s played a lot of minutes on the floor since her freshman year.
“There is nobody that works harder than she does, and she exudes confidence on the floor by doing all the things she needs to do.”
The Huskies (15-7, 5-6 Colonial) ended a two-game losing streak and avenged an 88-83 loss at Towson on Jan. 11. They resume league play Friday night at Delaware.
“We talked about this being the second half in the conference, and now we’ve got to win the second half,” Cole said. “It’s about us wrapping our mentality around that we are being hunted every time we step on the floor instead of us doing the hunting.”
The Huskies shot 42.6 from the floor, made seven from behind the arc with 40 rebounds and 18 assists. Senior forward Gabby Giacone registered her 17th career double-double and sixth of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Giacone and Genco employed the pick-and-roll to perfection while guards Kendall Currance and Shannon Todd combined for 26 points and 10 rebounds.
“It’s a team effort every time we step on the court and moving the ball and get everybody scoring,” Giacone said. “That’s when we are at our best.”
The Huskies expended all their energy and focus maintaining their 10-point halftime lead. Sophomore guard Stella Clark launched a 3-ball from the corner to put NU ahead 46-34 at 4:42 of the third quarter. Todd scored seven straight points that included a trifecta from the right baseline to put NU ahead 53-39 with 1:36 to play.
Towson (13-9, 7-4) countered with five free throws and a layup by Nukiya Mayo (20 points) in the span of 36 seconds to cut the lead to 5346. Giacone contained the Huskies’ slide with a layup for a 55-46 lead after three.
“We were going after their ball screen defense right from the get-go,” Cole said.
NU opened the fourth with a 13-6 surge and took a 68-52 lead on two from the line by Currence with 5:10 to play. Towson scored nine unanswered points and cut the lead to 68-61 on a threepoint play by Qierra Murray with 2:34 to play. NU sank 9-of-10 free throws inside the final 2:22 to preserve the victory.
“They were an athletic opponent, and they were jumping the passing lanes,” Genco said. “I used pass fakes and being patient with it and kept attacking them, and once we started doing that, we got some openings and I was able to hit other people.”