Jan. 9, 2010

Courtesy of Franklin Pierce Athletics

RINDGE, N.H.  – The top-ranked Franklin Pierce University women’s basketball team continued on its winning roll Saturday as the Ravens downed Saint Rose, 75-60, in The Fieldhouse in Rindge. Franklin Pierce improved to 13-0 on the season and 9-0 in the Northeast-10, while Saint Rose dipped to 5-9 and 4-5 in league play.

Senior standout Johannah Leedham (Ellesmere Port, England) continued her assault on the NE-10 women’s basketball record book as she swiped four steals to become the all-time leader in that category. She currently stands at 373 thefts for her career.

Leedham ended the game with 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists, the four steals and a pair of blocks. With her point total, she moved into 11th place all-time in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history for career scoring with 2,468 points.

Leedham stands on the verge of three more career scoring milestones, which she could achieve over the next two games. First, Leedham needs just 22 more points to become the all-time leading scorer in Northeast-10 history for both men’s and women’s basketball. Assumption’s Drew Adderly totaled 2,489 points for his spectacular career from 1988-92 and is tops in that category. With 23 points, Leedham would move into the top-10 in Division II history for career scoring. With 32 more points, Leedham would become just the eighth player in Division II history to top 2,500 points for her career.

Leedham will have the opportunity to reach one or all of those milestones on Tuesday night when the Ravens travel to face New Haven at 5:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce fans may have the opportunity to see one of those accomplishments earned next Saturday when the Ravens play host to Southern Connecticut State at 1:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge.

Two other Ravens scored in double-figures, including junior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, R.I.) and junior center Tori Ahrens (East Greenwich, R.I.), who scored 15 and 13 points, respectively. Gaudet handed out six assists and collected three steals, while Ahrens ripped down nine boards. Sophomore forward Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland) added seven rebounds, as Franklin Pierce outrebounded the Golden Knights by a count of 45-37.

The Ravens shot a strong 51 percent (29-of-57) from the field, which aided in their dominating advantage of 52-24 in points in the paint. Saint Rose, though, struggled shooting the ball as it managed just 32 percent (20-of-63) from the floor.

Saint Rose did play hard defensively and forced Franklin Pierce into 24 turnovers, scoring 21 points off of those. The game featured five ties and 10 lead changes.

The Golden Knights hung tough early on and held a 12-9 lead at the 13:11 mark of the first half. The teams would exchange 8-0 runs over the next four minutes. Ahrens laid in a pair of buckets to give the Ravens a 17-12 lead, but Amy Voelkel tallied four points to spark Saint Rose to a 20-17 edge.

Franklin Pierce found itself trailing 24-23 before it countered with an 8-0 rally to go up 31-24 with 3:41 left in the half. Gaudet aided the rally with four points and Giroud chipped in with a three-point play.

The Ravens kept up the offensive intensity over the final 2:56 of the half and outscored the Golden Knights, 8-0, to take a 41-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Leedham had 15 points in the first 20 minutes, while Gaudet chipped in with 10. Ashley Rath had 11 of her team-high 19 points in the first half.

The Ravens scored 10-straight points in the opening stages of the second half to build a commanding 53-37 lead with 13:44 remaining. Gaudet was one of four Ravens to score during the surge as she sparked it with a three-pointer.

Leedham buried a three minutes later to push Franklin Pierce’s lead out to 18 at 57-39 with 10:18 to go. Saint Rose didn’t fold and whittled its deficit down to nine at 59-50 with 6:57 remaining on a layup from Ola Shajuyigbe.

Franklin Pierce had one more surge left in it as Leedham scored the game’s next five points to open up a 64-50 lead. Saint Rose could not get back within single-digits the rest of the way as the Ravens moved on for the win.

The Ravens have now won 26 of their last 27 games overall and 18-straight regular season games dating back to the end of last season.

For more information on the top-ranked Franklin Pierce women’s basketball program, please visit the team’s page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.)