WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – A slow start doomed the University of Saint Joseph as they fell, 69-49, to the Johnson & Wales University Wildcats in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball clash inside the O'Connell Center on Thursday evening.
Score: University of Saint Joseph – 49, Johnson & Wales University – 69
Records: USJ (6-5, 1-2 GNAC), JWU (7-6, 3-1 GNAC)
Location: West Hartford, Conn. – O'Connell Center
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Wildcats led wire-to-wire and outscored the Blue Jays 42-26 in points in the paint to pick up their third GNAC win of the season.
- USJ got off to a slow start scoring just seven points in the opening quarter and fell behind 20-7 after the first 10 minutes.
- JWU raced out to a 12-0 lead to start the game before USJ got on the board at the 6:12 mark with a layup from freshman Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.).
- Senior Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) capped the first stanza with a three as she powered the Wildcats in the opening frame with 10 points.
- Another low scoring second quarter by the Blue Jays led to JWU building its lead to as big as 24 (34-10) with just over two minutes to play in the first half.
- The Wildcats would take a 36-15 advantage into the halftime intermission as they shot 46.9% from the field compared to USJ's 16.1%.
- The Blue Jays made some nice halftime adjustments and were able to close the gap to 16 (56-40) after a three-pointer from freshman Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) with seven minutes to play in the fourth.
- However, that would be as close as they would get as JWU responded with an 8-0 run deny any chance of a USJ comeback and walked away with the 69-49 final decision.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Senior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) led the Blue Jays offensively with a team-high 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. She also added four assists and three steals.
- Williams was the leading rebounder for USJ with seven boards and also chipped in with five points.
- Senior Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) finished with eight points and a game-high five steals for the Blue Jays.
- JWU finished with two players in double figures led by Pederzani who dropped a game-high 21 points. She also added seven rebounds and six assists.
- Junior Ally Mishol (Longmeadow, Mass.) joined Pederzani in double figures with 18 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double for the Wildcats.
- Senior Kristen Habbell added six points and a game-high seven assists as JWU posted 19 assists as a team on 29 made field goals.
- The Blue Jays shot it much better in the second half 44.8% (13-29) and finished the game 30.0% (18-60) from the field as a team.
- Johnson & Wales connected for 45.3% (29-64) overall from the field and dominated the glass outrebounding USJ 55-33 in the victory.
The USJ women's basketball team will look to bounce back when they return to the hardwood next on Saturday at home in a GNAC matchup against Anna Maria. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. JWU is also back in action next on Saturday at home when they square off with GNAC opponent Lasell at home at 1 p.m.