Words by Ivaylo Mihalev
Emmanuel College’s (EC) Women’s Basketball kicked off their 2021 season with an impressive 76-60 win against Salve Regina University (Newport, RI) in a non-conference match as part of the EC Tip-Off tournament. The game was preceded by a special ceremony in which the members of the 2001 Women’s Basketball Team were awarded rings to honor them for reaching the Final Four of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Honoring their long-lasting legacy at Emmanuel and in women’s basketball, President of the College, Sister Janet Eisner, SND said in her opening remarks, “Banners that hang in this gym will forever testify to what you achieved together”.
“My experience with this beautiful team was amazing from start to finish”, says alumna Lon Tega Morris, who was #45 during the 2001 season. “I do believe that it made me the person that I am today. We continue to be family to this day as you can see. It’s like we never left”.
Franessa Parham, previous freshman point guard, shared some of her takeaways and advice for the girls on this year’s team saying, “Defense wins games. That’s always very important to remember. And also staying on top of school and educating yourself. Get an education while you take advantage of your athletic ability”.
Tega Morris also added a few words about their coach, Andy Yosinoff, saying “[He] was like a dad to us, our biggest fan, and we love him to death. He has always been supportive, he’s always been there for us, and he has given us the tools we needed to be successful in school as well as on the court”.
Yosinoff entered the 2001 season with 453 wins under his belt and now has 853 total wins. This makes him the winningest coach of all time in NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball.
After the awarding of the rings, the game started with a tight battle between the Saints and Seahawks in the first quarter. However, after a jump shot by senior Loredana D’Agostino (#45), the Saints took the lead going into the second quarter with a score of 19-14 and leading 32-23 into halftime.
Their best performance came in the third quarter where they scored 26 points–bringing them to a 64-42 lead. Although Salve Regina outscored Emmanuel by six, the Saints defeated the Seahawks with a final score of 76-60–starting the season on a strong footing.