Best friends Rosanio, Feldman meet on court

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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Leaving the Mullins Center with a victory over Northeastern (0-5) on Saturday improved the Massachusetts women’s basketball team’s record to 7-1, but it also gave junior guard Pam Rosanio some serious bragging rights.

The game meant a little extra for Rosanio as it pitted her against her best friend and NU standout sophomore Ashlee Feldman. Both went to high school in Pennsylvania, but they met in New Jersey, where they played on the same AAU team. Their first encounter wasn’t exactly conducive to a budding friendship, but they moved past the rough start.

“I’ll never forget the first time we met because she gave me a black eye [in practice],” Feldman said. “It was the worst black eye I’ve ever got in my life. It stayed for like two weeks. She also gave me this cut on my knee that wouldn’t stop bleeding. It was the very first practice we had as a team.”

“I don’t think she liked me very much after that,” Rosanio said, laughing. “Her eye was black and she was bleeding, so we didn’t exactly get off on the right foot, but we became friends and had a lot of fun together.”

Entering Saturday’s contest, Feldman held the edge in scoring average, besting Rosanio’s 12.1 points per game with a 15.7 average of her own. But it was Rosanio who got the last laugh in this matchup with a game- and season-high 22 points. Feldman led her team in scoring as well, but it took her 18 shots to record just 12 points.

“I will say she definitely got me this game,” Feldman said reluctantly. “Pam played awesome. She was aggressive on offense and defense and I thought she played a really good all-around game. I played awful. I know I was the leading scorer on the team but she definitely got me this time. She’s 1-0.”

“It’s funny because you want them to do well, but not too well,” Rosanio said. “She got 12 points but we got the win, so I was happy. We both wanted to have our best games, and prove to the other person who’s better. She didn’t have her best game but she still played well.”

There was a lot of anticipation for this game for each player, as both Rosanio and Feldman had this game circled on their calendars.

“It was such an ongoing thing, when I first saw that we were playing UMass I was so excited,” Feldman said. “Our family was so excited, too, because our moms were best friends as well. They traveled up together and made a big weekend trip out of it.”

“We called each other twice before the game and we talked a little about how our teams compare,” Rosanio said. “I just wanted to win this game so badly, maybe more than ever.”

The two joked around a little bit before the tip-off but once the game started it was back to normal.

“Shooting 3-pointers is her main thing so I told her that she’s not allowed to shoot,” Rosanio said. “She told me that I wasn’t allowed to rebound, but once the game gets started we don’t even think about that anymore.”

“You think about it before the game, but once it’s time to play you just block it out,” Feldman said. “There wasn’t any trash talking or anything like that. You just have to go out there and play.”

While they enjoyed a little ribbing before the game, each has great respect for the other’s ability.

“Even though I’m a year younger, I would look at her and say to myself that she’s type of player I wanted to be,” Feldman said. “She never stops moving and never gets tired out there. I love her game.”

“She’s a terrific shooter,” Rosanio said. “She can shoot the ball from anywhere with her range. She’s added to her game and can she’s developed a lot since we played together.”

Rosanio may have gotten the best of Feldman on that particular day, but the question of who is the better player is open to debate. Well, not if you ask Rosanio.

“Me, of course,” Rosanio said jokingly. “No, I think we both bring different things to the floor. She has a better shot maybe but I might play better defense or something.”

“I’m going to have to say when it comes to shooting 3’s, I’ll get her, but when it comes to driving to the basket she’ll get me,” Feldman added. “But right now I’m going to have to go with her overall, because they beat us and I don’t have anything to back it up with.”