CHICOPEE, Mass. — Behind a triple-double from sophomore Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) and a tenacious defense (allowed season-low 36 points), the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team meant business Tuesday night, knocking off Elms College (EC) on the road, 49-36 inside Picknelly Arena.
Second-year head coach Wendy Davis called Smith's performance "the best she's seen yet", finishing with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 13 steals, good for her first-ever triple double. Sophomore guard Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.) made big time shots at key moments, racking up 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Junior forward Deanna De La Cruz (Winsted, Conn.) had the best game of her career, utilizing her size with 12 points and nine rebounds (seven rebounds in the third quarter). Juniors Lashaunte White (Miami, Fla.) and Angelica Peguero-Flores (Springfield, Mass.) scored 11 each to lead the way for the Blazers.
Score: Saint Joseph 49, Elms 36
Records: USJ (3-2), EC (0-4)
Location: Picknelly Arena | Chicopee, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"Everybody in that locker room is responsible for this win… It helps to have more bodies. Now that we have 16 players at practice, it's making the starters better because they are being pushed more. There's also that tiny bit of revenge factor [from last year], which is fantastic. We just need to continue to play better."
- The Blue Jays relied on a 2-2-1 full court press to turn defense into offense, forcing nine first quarter turnovers. Junior guard Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) made a beautiful bounce pass in transition to lead Barcomb for an and-one. It was tied, 12-12 after one.
- Both teams traded turnovers and buckets as the second quarter waged on, no team able to get a deciding advantage. USJ was able to execute in the half court, case in point: a backdoor cut by Barcomb from Smith gave the Blue Jays a 26-25 lead at the half. USJ shot 46 percent from the field in the first half. They also had seven offensive rebounds, and a 16-6 edge in points in the paint.
- Elms hit big shots at just the right time to keep it close in the third, but it was clear that the Blue Jays were the aggressor. Seven rebounds for De La Cruz and four for sophomore forward Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) in the third quarter alone began to wear the Blazers down. It was 34-32 USJ to the fourth quarter.
- The Blue Jays went on a 13-2 run to start the quarter. A driving layup for Smith to get the triple-double, and a dagger three from Barcomb with one on the shot clock (Blue Jays had several of those) made it 47-34 with three minutes to go.
NUMBER TO KNOW
24– USJ had 24 more rebounds than EC, nearly doubling up the Blazers, 49-25.
- Elms scored just 11 points in the second half after scoring 12 and 13 points in the first and second quarters.
- USJ held a 30-12 advantage in points in the paint.
- The Blue Jays capitalized on mistakes, scoring 26 points off 29 EC turnovers.
- Five Blue Jays had at least five rebounds.
The Blue Jays will be back home on Thursday, November 21 when they host Dean College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. in the O'Connell Center, on the campus of USJ.
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