WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) debut for the Gallaudet University women's basketball team, the Bison handily defeated the Phoenix of Wilson College 71-38 on Wednesday night at the Field House. The Buff and Blue, who have now won six games at home dating back to last season, never trailed during the contest. The Bison's 4-0 mark is the best start in Head Coach Kevin Cook's four seasons. The previous best start under Cook was in 2008 when the team started the season 3-0.
Senior forward/center Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) continued her torrid pace to start the season with her second double-double of the season and 18th of her 29-game career at GU. Her third rebound of the night was her 300th of her storied career as she transferred from junior college in 2009. The All-American recorded a season-high 28 points, 15 rebounds, seven steals and two assists in 29 minutes of play. Faafiti hit double figures by halftime with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Wilson pulled to within one, 17-16, with 10:26 left in the first half, but GU (4-0, 1-0 NEAC) went on a 23-3 run to take a 40-19 lead into halftime. Fifty of the Bison's 71 points were scored in the paint and 32 points were scored off of 28 Wilson turnovers. Five Bison recorded at least four rebounds in the contest, including senior Nukeitra Hayes (Anderson, Ind.) who grabbed eight rebounds while adding five points and three steals. The Bison had 22 points off the bench highlighted by freshman guard Zamica Gage (Washington, D.C.) and her game-high five assists, seven points, three rebounds, a block and a steal in 19 minutes of action. Sophomore guard Katelyn Jurney (Tulsa, Okla.) provided a spark off the bench as well with five steals, four points and an assist in 12 minutes of play. All players in uniform for the Bison saw game action.
The Phoenix (2-3, 1-3 NEAC) were led by the double-double effort from forward Vanessa Whitfield, who had a team-high 13 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one three pointer. Guard Emily Cecere scored seven points, brought down eight rebounds and recorded two steals.
GU will hit the road this weekend with two conference games. The Bison will play their first NEAC road game against Wells College on Saturday, December 4, at 12 p.m. in Aurora, N.Y.