Transfers Fill Vital Role For Women’s Hoop

By Adam Alexander


The Rhode Island College women’s basketball team is off to the program’s best start in 17 years and two transfer guards, sophomore Brittany Saccoccio and senior Denise Scott, have been key contributors to the Anchorwomen’s 8-1 overall record and 1-1 mark in the Little East Conference to open the 2009-10 season.


Saccoccio, a 5-0 point guard from Glocester, R.I., leads the team with 22 assists, ranks second with 22 steals and has contributed a 4.9 ppg average. After a solid career at Ponaganset High School, traditionally one of the strongest Div. I girls basketball programs in Rhode Island, she decided to go to C.W. Post on Long Island. When things didn’t work out as planned, she contacted RIC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Marcus Reilly and transferred back to the Ocean State.



 Sophomore guard Brittany Saccoccio


“I always said if I was going to play Div. III basketball, I was going to play at Rhode Island College, just because it was so close to home and I love Rhode Island,” Saccoccio said. “The only reason why I transferred here was because of Coach Reilly. I have known him for a while, so I trusted him that I was going to have a lot better experience here.”


"Britt has worked to push and develop her teammates to stabilize our point guard position and, in turn, our entire offense," Coach Reilly said. "She brings the toughness and discipline we are looking to build our program on and competes to make everyone better on a daily basis." 


Scott, a dynamic, slashing guard, is a terror on the court defensively and has added versatility to the Anchorwomen’s offense. This is Scott’s second stint in Rhode Island as the Yonkers, N.Y. native started off her collegiate career with the Community College of Rhode Island in 2006-07 and 2007-08 before attending Le Moyne last winter.



 Senior guard Denise Scott


“I had an opportunity to max out and help change this program around to a championship level,” Scott said about making her big move from Le Moyne to RIC. “Playing for Coach Reilly, I knew that I had my best opportunity to do this.” 


The two years she spent at CCRI under then Head Coach Reilly, she was an NJCAA All-American and an All-Region XXI selection. In ’07-08, she played in 31 games, averaging 14.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game. In just two years as a Knight, she scored 911 points, ranking just behind current RIC Associate Head Coach and RIC Athletic Hall of Famer Claudia DeFaria.


Last season with Le Moyne College, she played in 18 games and averaged 3.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal a game.


At Rhode Island College, Scott as proven to be a key player coming of the bench. “I think that I am making an impact off the bench. I can come into games and help my team.”


"Denise has a unique opportunity as a senior to not only reach her potential on the court, but have a lasting impact in the turnaround of our entire basketball program," Reilly said. "She is starting to approach both of those things with a sense of urgency and it will be contagious."


This year as an Anchorwoman, she is averaging 11.2 points, ranking third on the team, and 3.3 rebounds per game. She also has a team-high 31 steals, swiping a season-high seven as the Anchorwomen crushed UMass Boston, 78-43, to close out the fall semester on Dec. 12.


"Brittany and Denise choosing to leave scholarship opportunities for a better personal fit and higher overall experience at Rhode Island College is really a testament to the direction of our program and the support of our entire athletic department," Reilly said. "We are currently recruiting student-athletes with this type of choice out of high school and, based on the success of Britt and Denise, we know we can be the perfect fit for them as well."


The Anchorwomen are off for finals and Christmas. RIC will next see action on Jan. 3-4 at the Williams Tournament. Rhode Island College’s next home game is on Tuesday, Jan. 12 against perennial Little East powerhouse Southern Maine.