CHICOPEE, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team dropped a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) road contest to the Blazers of Elms College, 64-60, held inside Picknelly Arena Wednesday evening. With the setback, the Blue Jays have lost three straight and move to 6-6 overall with a 2-3 mark in the GNAC. The Blazers meanwhile avoid a four-game slide and improve to 6-4 overall with the triumph, including a 3-4 record in conference play.
Score: Saint Joseph 60, Elms 64
Records: USJ 6-6 (2-3 GNAC), Elms 6-4 (3-4 GNAC)
Location: Picknelly Arena | Chicopee, Mass.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Saint Joseph got off to a good start, taking a 17-11 lead after the first quarter. All five starters scored for the Blue Jays, including six in the first stanza from senior forward Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.).
The second quarter was the key period for the Blazers, who came out on fire as six different players combined for 23 points, outscoring USJ 23-9. An 11-1 run, capped by a layup from freshman guard Aiyanalee Lopez (Leominster, Mass.), gave the Blazers a 22-18 lead midway through. Elms doubled their advantage with consistent play to go into the half up eight, 34-26.
The Blue Jays looked determined to get the lead back, as a three-ball from junior guard and captain Amanda Fudge (Middletown, Conn.) cut the gap to three, 48-45, with 2:22 remaining in the third period. USJ cut the lead to three several times in the fourth, and even got within two late as Smith put a layup home with exactly one minute to play. Smith made the big play at the end with a steal and drive to the rim, but was unable to convert to tie the score with 39 seconds left. Graduate student and forward Angelica Peguero-Flores (Springfield, Mass.) got the ball in good position and made it a two-possession game with only seconds left. Elms iced it with late-game free throws to take a 64-60 win, and even the season series after dropping a 67-46 decision to the Blue Jays back on November 23.
Sophomore forward Jordan Ouellette (Bristol, Conn.), who has been on a tear in recent weeks, was held to her lowest scoring outing since November 13 against Bard (8 points). She finished with 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the floor. Ouellette got into foul trouble and had four fouls in all, tying a season-high set in the first game of the season. Smith added nine points and eight rebounds for USJ, while freshman guard Maya Slisz (New Britain, Conn.) scored 12.
Lopez finished with a game-high 17 points for the Blazers to go along with 10 rebounds, while Peguero-Flores added 16 points and eight boards on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor.
The Blue Jays will look to rebound at home in a GNAC matchup against the Chargers of Colby-Sawyer College. Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 15 inside the O'Connell Center. Please review the university's latest updates to its spectator policy. You can also head over to usjbluejays.com to catch all the action live!
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