PHILADELPHIA – Jumping out to a 21-4 lead to start the game, the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team was in full control Wednesday evening as the Hawks downed Rhode Island, 64-53, at Hagan Arena. Senior forward Kelly Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) led three Hawks in double figures with 14 points and added six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Saint Joseph’s defense started the game out tenaciously, holding the Rams to just 2-of-12 from the field and causing four turnovers as the Hawks ran out to a 21-4 edge. Junior Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) and senior guard Michelle Baker (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) combined for 13 of the first 21 points as the Hawks hit 10-of-13 field goals over the opening 7:16.
Rhode Island (1-25, 0-11 Atlantic 10) would cut the deficit to 28-20, but Saint Joseph’s got a three pointer from senior Katie Kuester (Media, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame de Namur) to make it a 31-20 game at the half.
The Hawks (17-8, 7-4 A-10) had a hot start to the second half as well to pull away from the Rams for good. Scoring 14 of the first 17 points of the half, Saint Joseph’s opened a 45-23 advantage on a jumper by senior forward Samira van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Casper College) at 12:47.
The Rams would get no closer than the final score as the Hawks earned their third-straight win.
For the game, the Hawks shot 45.6 percent from the floor (26-of-57), 23.5 percent from behind the arc (4-of-17) and 57.1 percent from the foul line (8-of-14). SJU finished with a 34-29 edge in rebounding, with junior guard Shelby Smith (Ames, Iowa/Waterloo West) spearheading the Hawk bench with five of the team’s game-high 14 points.
Individually, Baker finished with 12 points, while Prim added 10 points. The pair finished with a game-high four assists as well.
At the other end, Emilie Cloutier had a game-high 17 points, while the Rams hit 20-of-50 from the floor and 12-of-15 from the foul line.
The Hawks return to action this Saturday at Charlotte. Game time is set for 7 p.m.