SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) posted her third consecutive double-double with a game-high 27 points paired with 13 rebounds to power the University of Saint Joseph past the Mount Holyoke College Lyons, 69-55, on the road in midweek non-conference women's basketball action on Tuesday evening inside Howard Gymnasium in South Hadley, Mass. Guest also added six assists and three steals to her stat line in USJ's final game of 2017 as she inches closer and is now just seven points away from becoming the eighth player in USJ basketball program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The Blue Jays will be back in action next on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at home against Nichols at 6 p.m.
Score: University of Saint Joseph - 69, Mount Holyoke College - 55
Records: USJ (6-3), MHC (0-9)
Location: South Hadley, Mass. - Howard Gymnasium
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In the first quarter, the Blue Jays started out on fire with a 10-0 run powered by six points from senior guard Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.), before freshman Raquel Fitzpatrick (Providence, R.I.) took the lid off the Lyons basket with a mid-range jumper.
- Mayo sunk another layup with 4:40 to go in the quarter before senior Kate Rawson (Old Town, Maine) countered with a bucket to ignite an 11-0 run for MHC.
- The Lyons played tough zone-defense to hold USJ scoreless for the remainder of the period, but went into the second stanza trailing, 14-9.
- The Blue Jays went on another run to start the second period, extending the lead to 24-11.
- Rawson stopped the run once again, helping the Lyons to a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 27-23.
- Despite the momentum for the Lyons, USJ scored four straight buckets to go back up by 11 (35-24).
- With just under a minute to go before halftime, Grover hit a jumper to cut the lead to single-digits, sending the Lyons into halftime down, 35-26.
- USJ began to take full control of the game in the second half, ending the third quarter up by 15 (50-35).
- The Lyons bounced back in the final stanza, outscoring the Bluejays 20-19, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit.
- USJ milked the clock to secure a hard-fought 69-55 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Guest led the way with a game-high 27 points to go with 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
- In addition to Guest's double-double, Mayo scored 15 points and almost reached double-digit rebounds with nine.
- Mayo also recorded three assists, two steals, and a block.
- Leading the Lyons was junior guard Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn.) who scored a season-high 15 points off the bench to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.
- Rawson had her best game of the season with 14 points and dominated the glass with a game-high 15 rebounds.
- Fitzpatrick also had a strong game with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. She also added a game-high seven assists.
- USJ's defense proved to be the deciding factor as they forced 24 Mount Holyoke turnovers and turned them into 28 points in the wire-to-wire victory.
- The Blue Jays only turned it over 15 times themselves, resulting in seven points for the Lyons.
- USJ also dominated down low and outscored the Lyons 42-16 in points in the paint.
Both teams are idle for the rest of the year, returning to action in early January. The Blue Jays are back in action next on Jan. 2, hosting Nichols at 6 p.m. while Mount Holyoke returns to the hardwood on Jan. 3 for NEWMAC action on the road against Coast Guard Academy at 7 p.m.