Top-Ranked Women's Basketball Earns Convincing 88-68 Win over SCSU; Leedham tosses in 29 points; Hancock Earns 150th Career WIn
Johannah Leedham pumps in 26 of her game-high 29 points in first half on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor; Steve Hancock earns 150th career win on the bench
RINDGE, N.H. (January 16, 2010) – The top-ranked Franklin Pierce University women’s basketball team kept to its winning ways on Saturday afternoon as the Ravens downed Southern Connecticut State, 88-68, in The Fieldhouse in Rindge. Franklin Pierce improved to 15-0 overall and 11-0 in the Northeast-10, while SCSU dipped to 9-7 and 6-5 in league play.
Senior standout Johannah Leedham (Ellesmere Port, England) added to her already historic week as she dropped in 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, including 7-of-11 from behind the three-point arc. Twenty-six (26) of those points came in the opening 20 minutes as she made nine of her 10 shots, including 6-of-7 treys. The point total gave her 2,525 for her career as she moved into eighth place in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history for career scoring. She also became just the ninth player in Division II history to top 2,500 points for her career.
Saturday’s scoring output came just days after Leedham dropped in 28 points in a road win at New Haven, which gave her the all-time career scoring record for men’s and women’s basketball in Northeast-10 Conference history.
Leedham capped her day versus SCSU with eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
Senior guard Kirsten Doldoorian (Brimfield, Mass.) came off the bench to net 14 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point stripe. Junior center Tori Ahrens (East Greenwich, R.I.) totaled five points, eight boards and three blocks, while sophomore frontcourt-mate Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland) added six points, seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of thefts. Senior guard Rachel Kimball (Rotterdam, N.Y.) added eight points in a reserve role, while collecting two assists and a steal.
Leedham scored her team’s first six points as the Ravens raced out to a 10-2 advantage two-and-a-half minutes into the contest. Franklin Pierce would never trail the entire game and never let the Owls pull even.
Leedham knocked down a three minutes later to stake Franklin Pierce to a 19-5 lead. Her hot offensive play continued throughout the half and her baseline jumper at the 12:38 mark made it 26-9 Ravens.
Franklin Pierce led by as many as 19 points in the first half, including at 35-16 when Doldoorian launched a three that found the bottom of the net with 10:03 left until halftime.
Franklin Pierce built a 51-34 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. The 51 points were the most first-half points for the squad this season. The Ravens helped their cause by shooting 61 percent (19-of-31) from the floor and holding an 18-6 advantage in points in the paint.
The Ravens continued to roll in the second half and led by as many as 27 points on two separate occasions. Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, R.I.) laid in a basket with 7:10 remaining in the game to extend the Ravens advantage to 78-51. Franklin Pierce’s bench took advantage of the extra playing time in the second 20 minutes and outscored the Owls bench by a count of 22-11.
SCSU was led in scoring by Allyson Smith and her 14 points. Shelley Pierson added 12 points and Ashley O’Dell netted 11.
The win for Franklin Pierce was its fourth in as many games since becoming the nation’s top-ranked team back on Jan. 5. The Ravens have won 28 of their last 29 games overall and 20-straight regular season games dating back to the end of last season.
Also of note from Saturday’s win was head coach Steve Hancock earning his 150th career victory on the Ravens bench. Hancock coached the Franklin Pierce women’s program for eight seasons from 1988-96 and compiled a 135-92 record with three trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament and two New England Collegiate Conference championships. Following a brief hiatus from the program, Hancock returned and spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach. He returned to the head coaching seat this season and has guided the top-ranked Ravens to their 15-0 start. Hancock’s 150 wins are the most for a head coach in program history.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday night when it plays host to Assumption at 5:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse. Fans who cannot attend the game can follow it via live stats and/or audio on the internet on the team’s page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.)