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Defense Leads Basketball Past Mount Holyoke, 63-28

Defense Leads Basketball Past Mount Holyoke, 63-28

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Defense was on display and senior Elisha Pertillar (Windsor, CT) posted her first career double-double as the University of Saint Joseph basketball team defeated the Mount Holyoke Lyons, 63-28, inside the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon for the Blue Jays second consecutive win this week. With the victory, USJ improves to 4-5 overall on the season, while Mount Holyoke falls to 2-7 with the loss.

Pertillar finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to post her first career double-double in the victory for the Blue Jays. Junior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, CT) led USJ on the afternoon with a game-high 14 points, while dishing out five assists. Classmate Kayla Guest (Newington, CT) also joined the duo in double figures adding 13 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and swiping three steals.

USJ raced out to a 17-8 lead after the opening quarter of play powered by seven points in the period from Mayo. The Blue Jays were on fire from the floor connecting on 8-of-13 (61.5%) of their attempts in the opening 10 minutes of play to build the lead. They would take their largest lead of the quarter, 15-5, after a lay-in from Mayo with 3:10 left on the clock.

In the second quarter the Blue Jays maintained a steady double digit lead throughout. They cooled off a little from the floor shooting just 4-of-19 (21.1%) in the quarter, but forced nine Lyons turnovers in the frame to maintain the lead. A pair of free throws with just over two minutes remaining before halftime gave USJ their largest lead of the game thus far, 32-18. Mount Holyoke closed the half with four straight points to pull within 32-18 heading into the locker rooms.

The Blue Jays tightened things up during the intermission, especially on the defensive end, and would allow just 10 points for the remainder of the game. Fresh out of the locker room, Mayo hit a three on USJ's first possession to spark a 7-0 run by the Blue Jays and build a 39-18 lead halfway through the period. They would go on to extend their lead to 45-22 with 1:26 left to play in the third before Mount Holyoke closed the gap to 45-26 heading into the final stanza.

The fourth quarter was all Blue Jays as they outscored the Lyons 18-2 to lock up the 63-28 victory. They would hold the Lyons scoreless over the final six minutes of action to deny any chance of a comeback by the visitors.

The Blue Jays shot 39.7 percent (25-of-63) in the game for the win and dominated the paint outscoring the Lyons, 40-14, in points in the paint. USJ's defense was imminent as they forced a season-high 30 turnovers and converted the Mount Holyoke mistakes into 18 points, while holding the Lyons to just 18.6 percent (11-of-59) shooting from the field, including 0-of-9 from three.

Senior Xajaah Williams-Flores (Bronx, NY) led the way for the Lyons with eight points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Mount Holyoke held the advantage on the glass in the game outrebounding USJ 54-43. Junior Genesis DiCarlo (Sullivan, ME) finished with five points and three steals in 25 minutes off the bench for Mount Holyoke.

The University of Saint Joseph basketball team will be idle until the New Year when they return to action next on January 4, 2017 on the road at Elms College. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.