Duffy becomes SNHU assist leader
In high school, as the starting point guard at Archbishop Williams, Christine Duffy was counted on to score. And she did, supplying 14.5 points per game, as well as 8.5 assists, during her senior season.
Her role in the backcourt at Southern New Hampshire University is a bit different: The 5-foot-6 Duffy is expected to be more of a playmaker. And she has flourished as a floor leader.
In a 67-62 Northeast-10 loss to Franklin Pierce last week, Duffy tallied a career-high 16 assists to break the school’s all-time assist mark, 546, set in 1993.
“It means a lot,’’ said Duffy, who is majoring in criminal justice. “It’s huge to have my name in the record books like that. I’m a point guard so I love passing more than anything. It’s something I’m really proud of.’’
She still looks for opportunities to score, and is averaging 8.6 points per game. But setting up the attack is her main responsibility, and one she takes seriously.
Her 16 helpers against Franklin Pierce are the most in Division 2 this season, and she is leading the nation (all divisions) with 8.1 assists per game. With her 10 assists in Saturday’s 54-53 loss to Bentley, Duffy stood at 202 assists this season and 570 for her career.
“Christine is having a terrific year and is a big part of our success,’’ said Southern New Hampshire coach Karen Pinkos, whose squad was 17-8 (12-7 Northeast-10) entering Tuesday’s Stonehill game. “She’s been an unbelievable offensive leader for our team, especially where she came from as a freshman.’’
Pinkos points to Duffy’s improved ability to see the court and to make smarter passes. As a freshman, she logged 103 assists but had 91 turnovers. This season, the South Boston native has an assist-turnover ratio of 1.8, second best in the Northeast-10 Conference. Duffy also leads her team with 44 steals.
“Her growth and maturity as a player and a person have been phenomenal,’’ said Pinkos. “She’s great at finding the open player and not trying to force things. She makes things happen on the court. It’s been a steady improvement year-to-year, but this year Christine has accelerated it. As our primary playmaker, she’s able to create for other people and she’s very unselfish.’’
Duffy would like to pursue a career as a social worker, possibly working with inner-city youth, but also entertains thoughts of playing professional basketball in Europe. She said she tries to pattern her game after that of veteran Phoenix Suns floor leader Steve Nash.
Duffy’s trademark moves include no-look passes and lobs over the defense to the Penmen’s post player on the block.
“What stands out is her ability to find the open player on transition,’’ said Pinkos. “She has real good court vision and a great ability to lob or bounce a pass to the post or find the backdoor play.’’
Here and there
Caitlin Fahey of Bridgewater (inset), a junior at Bentley University, broke a 24-year school record in the mile, running a 4:58.63 at the Boston University Valentine’s Invitational on Feb. 10. The Coyle & Cassidy grad shaved 1.16 seconds off the previous Bentley record, set by Whitman-Hanson grad Kathy Fitzgibbons in 1988. Fahey finished 28th in a field of 144 and qualified for the NCAA Division 2 championships. . . .
Mansfield’s Michael Lofton came off the bench to score all 19 of his points in the first half of Bridgewater State’s 81-50 victory over Worcester State Saturday. The 6-foot-5 freshman center was 9 of 11 from the field and added eight rebounds. Junior guard Shawn Yard of Brockton did not commit a turnover while contributing 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and four steals for the Bears (13-9, 8-2 MASCAC). . . .
Stoughton High graduate Mike Horan has been promoted to defensive line coach at Harvard. He just completed his third year on Tim Murphy’s staff, serving as the assistant defensive line coach last season in the Crimson’s Ivy League title run. . . .
The Babson College women’s basketball team clinched its third consecutive New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference regular season title with a 73-65 win over Smith College. Sarah Collins, a 6-2 junior forward from Weymouth, poured in 20 points for the victors and added a career-high 17 rebounds, five blocks, and five steals. Quincy’s Allanah Wynn (Milton Academy) had 11 points, three assists, and three steals for the Beavers (20-2, 16-0 NEWMAC). . . .
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth freshman Katie Sheehan of Scituate was tabbed Little East Women’s Rookie Track Athlete of the Week after placing first in the 800 meters at the conference meet last week.