NEWTON, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph women's basketball team never gave up Tuesday night, coming all the way back from 16 down with nine minutes to go to shock the Lasers of Lasell University (LU), 72-71, in a gutsy Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) game, at the Lasell Athletic Center.
The Blue Jays went on a 10-0 run in the final two and a half minutes, knocking down two big-time three balls, and a pair of free throws to seal it in the closing moments.
Junior captain Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) led the Blue Jays with 20 points, draining 5-of-9 from three-point range. Sophomore forward Katelyn Vazquez (Manchester, Conn.) secured the win with a steal, before sinking a pressure-packed free throw with four seconds to go, en route to her first career double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman Meredith Forman (Bristol, Conn.) added 13 points, and junior guard Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) contributed 10 points off the bench. Senior guard Amanda Ortiz (Newton, Mass.) posted her seventh double-double of the season for Lasell with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, making 9-of-13 shots from the field. The Blue Jays did their part though, forcing her into a season-high 11 turnovers.
Score: Saint Joseph 72, Lasell 71
Records: USJ (10-11, 2-5 GNAC) Lasell (9-11, 2-6 GNAC)
Location: Lasell Athletic Center | Newton, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"Down 16 to start the fourth, and we stuck together and fought back. Rae [Voislow] and Kate [Vazquez] hit clutch free throws in an insanely loud and crazy environment. Meredith [Forman] and Anna [Chevarella] played amazing as well. Such a fun comeback for our team! We are excited to get to double-digit wins with this one."
- Ortiz scored eight of her 21 in the first quarter, with Lasell taking a 17-9 lead after one. USJ was 3-for-18 from the floor in the first.
- The Lasers continued to outplay the Blue Jays in the second and third quarter, taking a 16-point lead after three.
- LU maintained that lead a minute into the fourth. It was there that the script flipped for Saint Joseph, scoring a season-high 31 points in the final quarter. Three-pointers from Voislow and Chevarella in the final minute off of defensive stops gave the Blue Jays a fighting chance.
- A steal and free throw by Voislow tied it up at 71. Time and time again, Saint Joseph got critical stops, either by forcing the Lasers into a difficult shot, or turning it over altogether. Vazquez made the big block with 11 seconds left, then the steal with five on the clock. She was fouled immediately, and went to the line looking to win the game. She missed the first, but calmly made the second. Lasell's last-second chance was denied by Chevarella, who snagged a steal before a shot was taken.
NUMBER TO KNOW
29 – The Blue Jays forced 29 turnovers, scoring 29 points. The Lasers forced 15 turnovers, scoring 15 points.
- Vazquez shot 11-of-14 from the foul line. The rest of the Blue Jays were 7-for-13.
- Saint Joseph made a season-high 10-for-21 from downtown (48%). The previous high was five (twice).
- The Lasers dominated the points in the paint, 38-10.
The USJ women's basketball team is headed home for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) matchup on Saturday, February 8 vs. Saint Joseph's College. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Monks is slated for 1:00 p.m., the first game in a doubleheader with the men's basketball team.
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