WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team dropped its season-opener to sharp-shooting Nichols College (NC), 64-49, inside a packed O'Connell Athletic Center Saturday afternoon. The Bison (1-0) raced out to a double-digit lead behind unselfish passing late in the first quarter, and never looked back, leading from start to finish and by as many as 24. The Blue Jays (0-1) will look to bounce back and get their first victory of the season when they travel to Bay Path University on Wednesday, November 13, for an 8:00 p.m. tipoff.
USJ had three players in double-figures, with sophomores Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) and Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.) scoring 16 points and 10 points respectively. Meanwhile, junior point guard and co-captain Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) added 11 points and seven rebounds. Smith also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and three steals. USJ shot just 29 percent from the field (17-58) and did not have a three-pointer until the end of the third quarter. NC had eight threes on the game and forced 21 Blue Jay turnovers.
Score: Saint Joseph 49, Nichols 64
Records: USJ (0-1), NC (1-0)
Location: O'Connell Athletic Center | West Hartford, Conn.
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"I think the first-game jitters got them, in the second half we settled in. First game, nice crowd, so many freshmen, but we were [plus five] in the second half. We're just going to build from that. We get the first-game jitters out of the way, and I think we will be good to go for our next game…we shouldn't be peaking and playing our best basketball game on day one. If we were, I'd be really nervous."
- The Bison closed the first quarter on a 12-4 run to take a 15-6 lead. One basket later, NC took a double-digit lead for good.
- Junior guard Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.), the Bison's returning leading scorer, scored nine of her 21 in a 2:41 stretch of the second quarter, when she made three-straight threes, giving NC a 28-11 lead, and forcing second-year head coach Wendy Davis and the Blue Jays to call for time.
- A "Barcomb Bomb", perhaps the first of many threes for Barcomb, brought the Blue Jays the closest they had been in the second half, down 55-39 with 6:15 to play. Nerney stemmed the tied scoring nine of the team's next 10 points to make it a 23-point game, preventing any chance of a miracle.
NUMBER TO KNOW
16 – Saint Joseph committed 16 first-half turnovers that Nichols turned into 16 points.
- Nichols has now won back-to-back meetings with the Blue Jays, winning at home, 51-48 last November.
- More than half of Nichols field goals were three-pointers (36), more than any game all of last season.
- Both teams struggled at the foul line, shooting under 60 percent (NC 10-17, USJ 11-19).
- USJ outrebounded Nichols, 48-46, despite the turnover troubles (21 TO).
- Nerney was smooth from start to finish and led all scorers with 21 points. She also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Women's hoops will head to Longmeadow, Massachusetts for the second game of the season, this one at Bay Path University this Wednesday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m.
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