WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – It was a dominant performance by the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team, who steamrolled its way past the Blazers of Elms College (ELMS), 67-46, in its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener Tuesday evening inside the new-look O'Connell Center. With the win, USJ is now 3-2 overall, 1-0 in the South Division of the GNAC, and have won three straight games, all inside the OC. The Blazers meanwhile suffer their first loss of the 2021-22 season, dipping to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Sophomore forward Jordan Ouellette (Bristol, Conn.) was the player of the game with a career-best 16 points and 13 rebounds, good for her first-ever double-double. She scored eight of her 16 in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Jelly Frigo (Canton, Conn.) was on fire in the second quarter, scoring 15 in the period, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer, one of three three-balls for her in the first half. Frigo scored four points combined in her first two games. She has scored 33 in her last three.
The Blazers came out in charge early, taking an 11-4 lead off of some good movement on the offensive end. However, following the under-five first-quarter media timeout, the tides turned as the Blue Jays got its relentless perimeter defense going that was on display in the USJ Tip-Off Tournament 10 days ago. Ouellette canned eight points in the first quarter to ignite a 15-2 run to close the period. Frigo then followed it up with her second-quarter eruption to make it a 13-point game. The Elms offensive struggles continued into the third, scoring just three points in the quarter, their fewest since scoring four in the fourth quarter against Rhode Island College on November 16, 2019 . Ouellette secured a career-high and her first double-double in the third, as the Blue Jays opened it up and never looked back.
PLAYER QUOTE [Jordan Ouellette on her double-double performance] "I was just getting in there. I really wanted to get rebounds. That has been one of my goals. I knew today I needed to get in there and box out and get as many as I could. We scouted them really well. We knew exactly how to play [Peguero-Flores], have our help defense be there, and make her look to other players who were not scoring as much as she was. We definitely want to be number one in the GNAC. We just need to keep working hard in practice, and get as many wins as we can."
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis] "I really liked our team defense. We focused on stopping them. They have some key players, and we spent some time yesterday going over it. Our overall team defense was incredible. We rebounded the ball very well too. [Elms] has some great rebounders, even their guards, so I thought we did a nice job of boxing out. Offensively we just want to run, and I think we did that for the most part very well."
Score: Elms 46, Saint Joseph 67
Records: ELMS 4-1 (1-1 GNAC), USJ 3-2 (1-0 GNAC)
Location: O'Connell Center | West Hartford, Conn.
The Blue Jays will be back in action in a week's time on Tuesday, November 30 in a non-conference, intrastate matchup against Western Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m. at WestConn. Those who cannot attend can follow the action live on www.usjbluejays.com.
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