PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak as the Hawks topped Sacred Heart, 63-54, Saturday afternoon at Hagan Arena. Down by five at halftime, Saint Joseph’s rallied to outscore the Pioneers 37-23 in the second half to earn its second home win of the year.
Trailing 31-26 at the half, the Hawks (3-3) scored the first nine points out of the break to take a 35-31 lead on a layup by senior Kelly Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) at 17:18.
Both squads would exchange baskets over the next five minutes as Sacred Heart took a 42-41 lead on a free throw by Blair Koniszewski at 12:37.
Saint Joseph’s would take control from there though, running off 13-straight points to open a 54-42 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Kasie Parker (Ovideo, Fla./Lake Howell) with 5:14 to go in the game. The Hawks held Sacred Heart to 0-for-8 from the floor and caused six turnovers during that stretch.
The Pioneers (4-1) continued to fight, but would get no closer than seven points as Saint Joseph’s grabbed several key offensive rebounds and hit 5-of-6 from the line to seal the win.
In the first half, neither team could pull away from the other as Sacred Heart held a 26-21 lead with under three minutes to go. Saint Joseph’s scored the next five points to tie it, but the Pioneers answered back with five points of their own to take a 31-26 edge into the second half.
As a team, Saint Joseph’s hit 23-of-56 from the floor (41.1 percent), 2-of-8 from three-point range and 15-of-23 from the foul line (65.2 percent). The Hawks also won the rebounding battle, 43-34, and caused 18 turnovers.
Individually, sophomore guard Erin Shield (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) led SJU in scoring for the second-straight game, tallying 12 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. Parker finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds, while senior center Samira van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherland/Casper College) added 10 points and five rebounds. Aggressive at both end, Cavallo posted a game-high 12 rebounds to go with seven points and six blocked shots, while junior guard Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) handed out a game-high five assists to go with nine points.
At the other end, Sacred Heart finished 20-of-61 from the floor (32.8 percent), but was held to just 8-of-30 in the second half (26.7 percent). Koniszewski led three Pioneers in double figures with 11 points.
The Hawks return to action this Tuesday when they host Drexel at 7 p.m.