WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Behind a monster double-double from sophomore forward Deanna De La Cruz (Winsted, Conn.), and career-highs from two others, the University of Saint Joseph women's basketball team downed the Rivier University (RU) Raiders, 79-52, on Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action inside the O'Connell Center. De La Cruz finished with 12 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to record her third career double-double, leading the Blue Jays to their first GNAC victory of the season.
Score: Saint Joseph 79, Rivier 52
Records: USJ (9-9, 1-4 GNAC), Rivier (4-12, 0-5 GNAC)
Location: O'Connell Center | West Hartford, Conn.
PLAYER QUOTE [Deanna De La Cruz]
"I am very proud of how I played today, especially the rebounds. It is very important for us to get those boards to have the outcome that we did. It comes down to our practices. Our practices have been notched up, we are pushing each other every day in practice, and I think it is starting to show."
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"I think a lightbulb went off Tuesday when we played Johnson & Wales. To compete like we did against that team gave us confidence, and ever since that night, we have been practicing with confidence, and things have just amped up. They are starting to figure it out."
- The Blue Jays raced out to a commanding 18-4 lead, started by freshman guard Tiana Asberry (East Hartford, Conn.), who scored a career-high 16 points on the game.
- The Raiders trimmed the gap as low as eight, but ended up trailing by 11 at the halftime break. Freshman guard Arianna Motivala (Nashua, N.H.) led the way for RU with eight first-half points.
- USJ continued to pound RU on the boards, simply wearing them down as the game went on. A 13-3 run to start the second half ballooned the lead to 20, and it was all USJ from there. Sophomore forward Katelyn Vazquez (Manchester, Conn.) had a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds in just 15 minutes off the bench, dominating inside on nearly every possession.
NUMBER TO KNOW
56 – The Blue Jays grabbed 56 rebounds, and scored 56 points in the paint, winning both stats by a sizeable margin.
- Saint Joseph is now 7-0 this season when leading at the half. They are 2-8 when tied or trailing.
- The Blue Jays doubled up the Raiders in second-chance points, 25-12.
- Rivier was 14-of-28 from the foul line (50%). They came in shooting nearly 70%.
The USJ women's basketball team is back in action on Thursday in its final non-conference game of the 2019-20 season at Becker College. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Hawks is slated for 7:00 p.m. inside Leicester Gymnasium.
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