PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team extended its win streak to five games and set up a clash for the Big 5 title this Wednesday as the Hawks topped La Salle, 77-60, at Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph's, which improved to 17-9 overall and 7-5 in the Atlantic 10, will host Temple on Wednesday with the City Series championship on the line as both teams enter the game with 3-0 records.
For the second straight game, the Hawks' offense was the story as they shot 52.7 percent from the floor (29-of-55) for the game and outscored the Explorers 39-24 in the second half. Taking a 38-36 lead into the final stanza, Saint Joseph's quickly opened a double figure lead as a jumper by junior forward Samira Van Grinsven put the Hawks up 53-42 with 12:50 to go.
La Salle (9-18, 5-7 A-10, 0-4 Big 5) cut the deficit to seven, 55-48, at the midway point, but Saint Joseph's answered with a 7-2 spurt to take go up 62-50 on a three pointer by senior forward Dominique Bryant. The Explorers would never come any closer from there.
In the first half, the Hawks opened a 28-18 edge on a layup by junior guard Michelle Baker at 7:25, but La Salle fought back to make it a 38-36 game heading into halftime.
For the game, Saint Joseph's converted 7-of-11 from behind the arc (63.6 percent), with Bryant going 4-of-4 and finishing with 14 points on Senior Day. Baker added a team-best 15 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guardErin Shields scored 10 points.
Junior Kelly Cavallo finished with 12 points and six rebounds, with classmate Katie Kuester adding nine points. Kuester and sophomore Ashley Prim each tallied six assists apiece as SJU handed out 24 helpers on 29 field goals. Van Grinsven and sophomore Mireia Vila each added six points apiece.
At the other end, Ashley Gale led three Explorers in double figures, scoring a game-high 17 points. As a team, La Salle shot just 37.9 percent (22-of-58), but hit 41.7 percent from three-point range (5-of-12) and 91.7 percent from the foul line (11-of-12).