PHILADELPHIA - Hitting 13-of-22 from the floor (59.1 percent) and 15-of-16 from the foul line in the second half, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team pulled away from Boston College midway through the final stanza to earn a 74-57 win Thursday evening before a televised audience at Hagan Arena. The Hawks, who improved to 8-4 overall and 6-0 at home this year, got a team-high 17 points from senior Michelle Baker to lead four SJU players in double figures.
In a battle between SJU sophomore guard Erin Shields and her sister Keri's Eagles team, it was Erin's Hawk squad that took a five-point lead into the second half. Up 31-26 to start the final period, Saint Joseph's saw its lead cut to two, 33-31, on a free throw by Joy Caracciolo at 15:48.
From there, SJU took control, outscoring the Eagles 17-7 over the next five minutes as a pair of free throws by redshirt sophomore Ashley Robinson made it a 50-38 advantage for the Hawks. Robinson and junior guard Ashley Prim combined for 13 of SJU's points during the stretch.
Boston College (4-8) would make it a 50-42 game on a pair of free throws with 9:23 remaining, but Saint Joseph's would close out the Eagles from there. Using an 11-2 run over the next four minutes, the Hawks built up a 61-44 lead behind 5-of-6 from the foul line and three baskets in the paint.
Saint Joseph's hit 3-of-4 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line in the final minutes to avenge its loss to Boston College in the second round of last year's WNIT.
In a tight first half, the Eagles ran out to an11-5 lead, but the Hawks answered with a 12-1 run to take a 15-12 edge on a layup by senior Kelly Cavallo at 10:28.
Boston College tied the game up twice, but the Hawks had an answer each time. With the score knotted at 19-19, Saint Joseph's used a 12-7 run to end the half to take a 31-26 lead into halftime.
For the game, the Hawks hit 25-of-50 from the floor, 3-of-7 from three-point range (42.9 percent) and 21-of-22 from the foul line (95.5 percent). SJU also won the battle on the board, 30-22, and had its bench outscore BC, 17-7.
Individually, Baker added four assists to go with 17 points, while Cavallo finished with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Prim finished 6-of-10 from the field, including a three pointer, to add 13 points, while Robinson added 10 points and two blocked shots.
In the family battle, Erin Shields scored seven points to her sister Keri's eight for the Eagles, with both players adding four assists.
At the other end, Boston College hit 22-of-47 from the floor (46.8 percent), 2-of-6 from three-point range and 11-of-17 from the foul line (64.7 percent). Katie Zenevitch led the Eagles with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Saint Joseph's returns to action next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Quinnipiac.
Thursday's attendance was 2,781, the second largest for SJU this year...Thursday's game will be rebroadcast on Saturday, December 31 at 6 p.m. on The Comcast Network...The Hawks got six points and eight rebounds from Samira van Grinsven...Katie Kuester added seven points and three assists...Kasie Parker, Mireia Vila, Shelby Smith and Ilze Gotfrida all played, but did not score...Photos from tonight's game will be available at www.sidephotos.com.