PHILADELPHIA – Behind a 19-4 run to close out the game, the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team capped its non-conference schedule with a 42-34 victory over Big 5 foe Penn Saturday afternoon at Hagan Arena. The victory gives the Hawks 10 non-conference wins for the second-straight year and improved their record to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big 5.
Up 19-15 to start the second half, the Hawks saw their lead quickly slip away as the Quakers (7-6, 0-2 Big 5) used a 15-4 run to start. Saint Joseph’s, which shot a season-low 29.3 percent from the floor on the day, hit just 2-of-14 from the field to start the final stanza, including 0-of-4 from the foul line as Penn opened its biggest lead of the game.
Trailing 30-23 with 11:44 to play, the Hawks answered behind their swarming defense. Sparked by a layup by sophomore Kasie Parker (Oviedo, Fla/Lake Howell/), Saint Joseph’s outscored the Quakers 19-4 over the final 11 minutes as the Hawks’ defense held Penn to 2-of-8 from the floor and caused eight turnovers to end the game.
Despite the final score, Saint Joseph’s worked hard for its final differential as a bucket in the paint by junior guard Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) at 1:24 made it a 38-34 game, with senior guard Katie Kuester (Media, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame De Namur) icing it from the foul line with four-straight free throws.
In the first half, both teams struggled on the offensive end as Penn led 3-2 over the opening five minutes as Saint Joseph’s hit just 1-of-11 to start the game.
The Hawks would open its biggest lead of the period, 19-11, on a three-point play by senior Michelle Baker (Wilmington, Del/Brandywine) at 2:23, but Penn ended the half on a 4-0 run to make it a 19-15 game at halftime.
Individually, Kuester and senior center Samira van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Jan van Brabaut) scored 10 points apiece for the Hawks, with van Grinsven adding eight rebounds. Senior Kelly Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) matched her career-high with 15 rebounds to go with three blocks and four points, while Prim finished with a game-high four assists and three steals to go with four points.
At the other end, Penn hit just 13-of-50 from the floor, including 2-of-10 from three-point range, as Kara Bonenberger paced the Quakers with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Saint Joseph's returns to action Wednesday when the Hawks host Fordham at 7 p.m.