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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 voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Gaining momentum

Gaining+momentum

Women’s basketball overcomes shooting woes

The Saint Joseph’s University women’s basketball team faced off against the Fordham University Rams on Jan. 18. The Hawks were on the heels of a three-game win streak and hot off a 20-point win against LaSalle University.

Entering the game, Fordham sat atop the Atlantic 10 Conference standings as undefeated in conference play. Facing strong opponents, though, is not unusual for St. Joe’s. The Hawks’ strength of schedule ranks as the most difficult in the A-10 and the 41st most difficult nationally.

The game had a slow start offensively. At the conclusion of the first quarter, St. Joe’s trailed by a score of 4-3. The Hawks’ 3 points set a new season low for points at the end of the first quarter. Fordham’s 4 points also tied for the least amount of points St. Joe’s has allowed in the opening quarter. Similarly, on Dec. 13, the Hawks led the New Jersey Institute of Technology 27-4 after the first quarter, and went on to win the game 75-36.

St. Joe’s was just 1-14 (.071) from the floor following the first quarter, while Fordham shot just 1-19 (.053). The Rams led all A-10 teams in field goal percentage during conference play (.442). Meanwhile, the Hawks were shooting 40 percent in all games, which ranked fourth in the A-10.

“Like Coach tells us at practice, you may miss a couple, but you can’t be scared to shoot,” junior Chelsea Woods said. “If you’re scared to shoot, you can’t score. So you have to keep shooting, keep shooting, and eventually they’ll fall.”

Both teams shot noticeably better following the break. The Hawks were 8-17 (.471) in the second quarter. A stretch including four consecutive scoring possessions helped to fuel St. Joe’s to a 21-15 lead by halftime.

A couple of minutes into the third quarter, junior Adashia Franklyn, who has appeared in every one of the Hawks’ games since joining the team, blocked Fordham’s Kate Kreslina’s layup attempt. It was Franklyn’s third block of the game and 80th of her career, tying with Kim Foley, ’89, for the seventh most blocks in program history.

The Rams outscored the Hawks in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 2 points. The Hawks held on to a 31-29 lead with one quarter left to play. The Hawks were able to extend their lead to as much as 7 points in the final quarter.

With just over a minute remaining, Fordham’s Hannah Missry knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the St. Joe’s lead to 45-41. After Franklyn hit one of two free throws on the other end of the court, Fordham’s G’mrice Davis converted an and-one and cut the deficit to just two.

A foul then sent Woods to the line for two shots, but she was not able to sink either. Fordham, down by two, looked to tie the game just in time. Missry attempted to pass the ball to Davis in the post, but the ball was just out of reach and flew out of bounds, giving St. Joe’s possession.

Fordham fouled again after the inbound pass, sending the Hawks to the free throw line. After the first shot had bounced off the rim, the second shot was good. The Hawks took a 47-44 lead. Kreslina missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Hawks walked off with a victory, handing Fordham their first conference loss. The victory was the fourth straight win for the Hawks.

“Well, I would’ve liked to make them, but I knew that this team was going to pull together and get a stop down on the defensive end,” Head Coach Cindy Griffin said. “Just staying focused for that last minute was very, very important. You can’t always control the ball going in the basket, but you can control the defensive end. We focused on that and we ended up with a win.”

Following the game against Fordham, St. Joe’s traveled to Ohio to take on the Dayton Flyers, a “perennial power” in the A-10 according to Griffin. In an overtime effort, the win streak was snapped with a 64-59 loss. After Woods hit two free throws towards the end of regulation, Franklin blocked a shot that could have won the game for Dayton, but instead kept the Hawks’ hopes alive for at least another five minutes of overtime.

With just under two minutes left to play, the Hawks led 57-55, but couldn’t hang on to the lead. Dayton scored eight unanswered points to claim a 63-57 lead. St. Joe’s ran out of time and couldn’t bring the deficit to within four again. Despite benefiting from 25 points from their bench, the Hawks earned their first loss since Jan. 4.

“I feel as though our confidence is building and just building each game,” Woods said. “Each game, we’re just getting better and better, learning from each mistake.”

St. Joe’s plays on Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. against St. Bonaventure University at Hagan Arena.

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