CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Carlee Putnam (Niantic, CT) exploded for a huge double-double pouring in a game-high 28 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds to power the University of Saint Joseph basketball team past the Lesley University Lynx, 91-52, in non-conference action on the road Wednesday night. The victory snaps a four game skid for the Blue Jays and improves their record to 3-5 on the season, while Lesley falls to 2-5 on the year with the loss.
Putnam was nearly unstoppable for USJ as she hit a career-high six three's en route to posting her second career double-double with game-highs of 28 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing out seven assists, swiping five steals and blocking two shots. The veteran connected on 50.0 percent (10-20) of her shots from the field, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc and was 2-of-3 from the free throw line in 37 minutes of floor time. She has now eclipsed the 20-point mark three times this season.
The Blue Jays had five players finish in double figures led by Putnam on their way to posting a season-high 91 points, which marks the most points USJ has scored since a 92-58 win over Mitchell College back on Dec. 1 of 2011. Senior Elisha Pertillar (Windsor, CT) and junior Kayla Guest each poured in 14 points, while sophomore Diamond Wallen (Hartford, CT) added a career-high 14 points off the bench. Junior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, CT) was the other USJ player in double figures finishing with 13 points.
The Lynx would race out to an early 8-2 lead fueled by a hot start from Linda Wallentine (Monroe Township, NJ) over the first 3:25 of the opening quarter. However, the Blue Jays would settle in and responded with six unanswered points to even the game, 8-8, midway through the period. Lesley used a quick 6-0 spurt to regain the lead, but USJ closed the quarter with an 8-0 run to go up 16-14 at the end of the first and would never trail again in the game.
USJ carried the momentum over into the second quarter as they exploded for 33 points in the frame on 71.4 percent (15-21) shooting from the floor. The Blue Jays opened the period on a 13-2 run to begin the separation, while Putnam led the charge with 13 points in the quarter and drained three from beyond the arc to give the Blue and Gold a 49-27 lead at the halftime break.
The Blue Jays picked up right where they left off in the third quarter and posted another 33-point period, building their lead to as big as 39 (80-41) over the opening 10 minutes of the second half. They would lead 82-43 at the end of the third and each team would go on to score nine points apiece over the final 10 minutes of play to account for the, 91-52, final margin.
USJ posted its best shooting performance of the season hitting for 50.6 percent (39-77) as a team from the field, including knocking down 43.8 percent (7-16) from distance. They forced 24 Lesley turnovers and turned them into 29 points, while turning the ball over just nine times themselves. They also posted a season-high 21 assists as a team in the win led by seven from Putnam and six from Pertillar.
Wallentine paced the Lynx with a team-high 16 points and seven dimes in the setback, while classmate Dakota Jones (Torrane, CA) poured in 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Lesley shot 38.6 percent (22-57), including 28.6 percent (2-7) from three.
The University of Saint Joseph basketball team will return to action next with its final game of 2016 as they wrap up the year at home on Saturday, Dec. 10 against non-conference opponent Mount Holyoke. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. inside the O'Connell Center.