Genco, NU avenge de­feat

Do-it-all se­nior lifts Huskies past Tigers

Boston Herald - - SPORTS - BY RICH THOMP­SON Twit­ter: @RichieT400

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.”

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