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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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Early season champs

Senior Avery Marz pulls up for a three in the corner (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Women’s basketball claims 24th annual Hawk Classic title

The St. Joe’s women’s basketball team claimed a championship title early in the season, winning the 24th annual Hawk Classic on Nov. 26. St. Joe’s defeated Eastern Illinois University on Nov. 25 before beating Saint Peter’s University to claim the title.

This title seemed extra special for Hawks’ Head Coach Cindy Griffin. Griffin spent three years as an assistant coach at Loyola University of Maryland under Head Coach Pat Coyle, who is now the head coach of Saint Peter’s.

“Winning a championship on our own court, that’s something we set out to do this year,” Griffin said. “We played against a tough team. They’re very well coached by Patty Coyle, a mentor of mine.”

Seniors Chelsea Woods, Adashia Franklyn, Amanda Fioravanti and juniors Alyssa Monaghan and Sarah Veilleux each scored in double-figures as starters for the Hawks against Saint Peter’s, but Monaghan led the way with 18 points.

“We had a lot of contribution from a lot of different players,” Griffin said.

Another 21 points from the bench, including eight from senior Avery Marz, supplied the Hawks with the offensive firepower to score 87 points while only allowing 58 from their opponent. According to the team, this resilience is due to increased coordination and communication on the court.

“I think the balance [offensively] is key for us this year,” Fioravanti said. “We’re doing a great job finding each other.”

Fioravanti opened the scoring with a layup 22 seconds into the game to give St. Joe’s a 2-0 lead – a lead they never lost. Fioravanti and Woods also grabbed eight rebounds each as the Hawks outrebounded Saint Peter’s, 46-27.

The championship win came on the heels of a first round victory over Eastern Illinois that ended 80-62 in favor of St. Joe’s.

Veilleux, the Hawks’ leading scorer and Atlantic 10’s third-leading scorer at 17.4 points per game, led all scorers with 22 points. Veilleux is also leading the conference in field goal percentage (68.8 percent) and three-point percentage (63.2 percent). Woods added another 20 points of her own in addition to 11 rebounds in the opening round.

“This team is very, very focused,” Griffin said. “We’re very mature. We grew a lot from last year. We learned a lot from last year. These guys are hungry.”

With the tournament win, the Hawks move to 5-0 with four of their five wins by 18 points or more, remaining  the only undefeated team left in the Atlantic 10.

St. Joe’s will open Big 5 play at Temple University on Nov. 29 before taking on Villanova University on the road on Dec. 3.

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