WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team is gearing up for the 22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament - Presented by Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast - which the Blue Jays look to win for the first time since 2011.
The tournament, held inside the O'Connell Athletic Center Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16, has become a season-starting staple for decades for USJ. It is a four-team, single-elimination format, with the semifinal games held Friday, while the championship and consolation games will be played on Saturday.
TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT HOMEPAGE
22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament
Friday, Nov. 15 Saturday, Nov. 16
2:00 p.m. Championship
New England College
12:00 p.m. Consolation
The Blue Jays have won the tournament five times (2002-03, 2009-11), more than any team in tournament history. Mount Saint Mary College is next with three (1998, 2000, 2004). No other team has more than two. USJ has also finished runner-up 11 times, making it 16 of 21 years the Blue Jays have played in the championship game on Saturday. The Blue Jays finished runner-up last season, defeating Mount Holyoke College in the semis, 69-45, before falling to eventual champion Wellesley, 53-30.
HOW TO WATCH
Tickets for the 22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament are FREE all weekend. If you cannot attend, you can always watch the tournament live on www.usjbluejays.com here.
WHO TO WATCH
Curry College - Freshman Kathryn Dunn (Hanson, Mass.) – Dunn has arrived on the Division III scene with a bang, averaging 11 points, eight rebounds and just over two assists per game (leads the team in all three). While the Colonels have not won yet in 2019-2020, expect Dunn to do all that she can to change that this weekend.
New England College - Senior Guard Rene Hudson (Gallatin, Tenn.) – Hudson led the Pilgrims last year with 18 points, six rebounds and more than three assists per game en route to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship (she had a double-double in the finale). Hudson will aim to pick up where she left off last year in the season-opening semifinal game against Curry.
Pine Manor College - The Entire Team – The Gators are starting fresh 2019-2020, returning no players and adding nine, including five freshmen. Interim head coach Al Berger is also at the helm for the first time. Expect the Gators' season opener to be a feeling out of sorts as the team begins its journey.
USJ - Sophomore Guard Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) – A three-time GNAC Rookie of the Week last season, Smith led the Blue Jays in scoring (12 PPG), and scored 16 in the 2019-2020 season opener against Nichols College on November 9. Smith's defense was also on display as a freshman, finishing third in the GNAC in steals per game (3.2) and blocks (1.9). Smith will look to remain aggressive to keep the Blue Jays in front.
Women's hoops will host the 22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament, starting with semifinal action on Friday, November 15 against Pine Manor College at 6:00 p.m., inside the O'Connell Center, on the campus of USJ.
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