by Eileen Flynn ’20
Providence College welcomed the top four women’s basketball teams of Rhode Island to Mullaney Gym Saturday, December 2. The second annual Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament allows for Brown University, Bryant University, the University of Rhode Island, and Providence College to compete in a special kind of rivalry.
Providence College matched up against Brown while Bryant faced URI in the first round of the tournament. The Friars entered the weekend with a 5-2 record and a four-game win streak, recently beating Savannah State University, Wright State University, Stetson University, and Yale University. Brown, the reigning Ocean State Tip-Off Champions, held a strong record of 5-1.
At 12 p.m., the ball was thrown into play for the two teams. Brown took off a little bit quicker than the Friars did, forcing PC to play catch-up for most of the game. The Bears jumped ahead in the first quarter after a 12-2 run, making the score 15-6. The Friars fought back and worked to reduce the deficit. At the end of half, the score left on the scoreboard read 26-24, Brown just two points ahead of PC. Maddie Jolin ’19 contributed 10 points to the Friars’ 24, labeling her as the lead scorer of the first half. For Brown, Justine Gaziano led her team in the opening 20 minutes with 12 points.
A fast start from the Bears of Brown in the second half gave the team a cushion for the remaining minutes of the match-up. After Shayna Mehta hit a three for Brown, the Friars found themselves down nine points. The home court helped PC stay in the game. The third quarter ended with Brown in the lead by just four points. The final quarter followed a similar pattern of the first three. The Bears increased a lead, and then the Friars worked hard to minimize it. Brown won the game with a final score of 64-59. Top scorers from Providencefor the Friars were Jolin with 16 points, Ny-Asia Franklin ’19 with 16 points and Jovanna Nogic ’19 with 13 points.
URI lost their first-round match-up against Bryant, joining the Friars in the consolation game on Sunday, December 3, still on Providence College’s territory. PC handed URI their second loss of the weekend with a final score of 65-41. It was a team effort from the Friars, as several teammates contributed over ten points to the overall score. The first quarter ended with the Friars in the lead, 17-11. The second quarter was even more productive for the Friars. They increased their lead to double digits, leaving URI 13 points behind after two quarters of play under way. The Friars took control of the second half, the team out-scored the Rams 30-19 in the time remaining. Nine of the 11 Providence College players who stepped on the court for the Friars contributed to the 65-41 final score.
Brown and Bryant were the top two teams that met in the championship game on Sunday. Brown out-scored Bryant 72-60 to be named back-to-back Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament Champions. Sydney Holloway and Naomi Ashley from Bryant and Taylor Will from Brown were selected for the Ocean State Tip-Off All-Tournament team. Brown’s Justine Gaziano was named Tournament MVP.
The Friars will be on the road for their next two games against Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. While most of PC students body heads off for break, the Lady Friars will face Boston College as well as Big East rivals Georgetown, and Villanova.