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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A Minute with McCloskey: St. Joe’s women’s basketball wins five of last six games

Senior+Alyssa+Monaghan+inbounds+the+ball+against+Temple+University.
Senior Alyssa Monaghan inbounds the ball against Temple University.

After falling to a disappointing record of 2-6 in the first eight games of Atlantic 10 Conference  play, the St. Joe’s women’s basketball team has found new life.

On Feb. 6, the Hawks outplayed Davidson College, winning 66-54 in what became the start of a four-game winning streak.

The three games that followed proved to be tough victories for the Hawks. Each game was won by three points or less: a 41-38 victory over George Washington University, a 55-54 victory against the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a 64-63 victory over La Salle University.

In each of those games, the Hawks played with a passion and spirit, which seemed to be lacking at earlier points in the season. One can only speculate as to why the team found a new wave of energy at the midpoint of the season, but I am not complaining.

On Feb. 20, I made the trek to Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena in the snow and ice in hopes of watching the Hawks extend their winning streak to five games. Unfortunately, the streak was slashed by the Duquesne University Dukes in what can only be described as a hard fought loss.

The Hawks struggled heavily in the first quarter of the game. It seemed like their shots just weren’t falling, and communication was lacking heavily on the defensive end. Something wasn’t clicking for St. Joe’s. The team fell behind 22-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Then, in the second quarter, I could feel the momentum of the game begin to turn. The Hawks were outscored in the second quarter 14-9, but their play was much stronger. Shots may not have been falling, but defensively, players were shifting, switching and playing strong.

Senior guard Alyssa Monaghan, redshirt freshman guard Katie Jekot and freshman forward Katie Mayock came up with key plays throughout the second quarter that provided the Hawks with momentum, including a strong block by Mayock that propelled them into halftime.

The Hawks were down 36-20, clearly not the way that they were looking to extend their four-game streak.

It is in the second half of this game that I began to see the Hawks play with their hearts on their sleeves. They fired on all cylinders. Sophomore guard Lula Roig, sophomore guard Mary Sheehan and senior guard Kristalyn Baisden carried the team offensively and defensively.

Sheehan finished the game with 13 points, including three three-pointers. Baisden quietly scored a team high of 20 points. It is unclear if fans were aware of the scoring outburst by Baisden- the player stat tracker scoreboard in Hagan Arena was inactive during the Hawks’ loss.

They fought hard but eventually came up short, losing to the Dukes 67-56.

I’m not focused on the final score. I’m focused on the way the Hawks handled themselves throughout the game and after. I am focused on how the fans stayed until the end of the game regardless of the score.

As time was ticking down, Hawk players on the court were hustling for every ball, playing until the final buzzer. The players on the bench continued to cheer on their teammates.

As the final buzzer sounded, not a single head was looking at the hardwood beneath their feet. Each player was looking forward to their next chance at stepping on the court to fight for victory.

That next chance arrived Sunday, Feb. 24 against the University of Rhode Island. Despite trailing 36-33 entering the third quarter, the Hawks stormed back in the fourth quarter to win the game 55-48. This win for the Hawks has pushed them into seventh place in the A-10  standings with a 7-7 conference record.

With two games to go in the regular season, the Hawks are looking to bring momentum into the A-10 tournament. Two more big wins against George Mason University on Feb. 27 at home against Fordham University on March 2 could be exactly what the Hawks need before the conference tournament.

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