PHILADELPHIA – Baked by 20 points from senior guard Michelle Baker (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) and a career-high 19 rebounds from senior forward Kelly Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Westhampton Beach), the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team downed Boston University, 67-56, in the WNIT First Round Thursday evening at Hagan Arena.
The Hawks (22-10) will now host VCU this Sunday at 2 p.m. This marks the third-straight year Saint Joseph’s has faced the Rams in the WNIT.
In a tightly fought contest, Saint Joseph’s clung to a 51-50 lead with just under eight minutes to play. From there though, the Hawks ripped off eight-straight points to open a 59-50 edge on a pair of free throws by sophomore Erin Shields (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) with 1:05 to go. Saint Joseph’s defense held the Terriers to 0-for-10 from the field over that span to take full control, while converting 7-of-8 from the line to ice the contest.
In the first half, the Hawks used a 13-5 run to break a 15-all tie and take a 28-20 lead on the first career three pointer by Cavallo as the shot clock expired with 1:22 to go in the stanza. Saint Joseph’s would enter halftime up 30-24 as both teams shot under 40 percent for the half.
Saint Joseph’s would keep the Terriers at a short distance midway through the second half, but an 8-1 run by Boston University cut the Hawks lead to 51-50. The Terriers held the Hawks to a lone free throw over a two-minute span to make it a one-possession game before SJU’s final run.
As a team, the Hawks shot 42.1 percent from the field (24-of-57), 38.5 percent from three-point range (5-of-13) and 56 percent from the foul line (14-of-25). The Hawks finished with a 46-38 edge in rebounding thanks to Cavallo’s aggressiveness.
Individually Baker posted her fourth-straight 20-point game, finishing 9-of-18 from the floor and adding a pair of free throws to go with five rebounds. Cavallo’s 19 rebounds are the third-most ever in a single game for SJU, matching six other Hawks. She added nine points as well, while classmate Katie Kuester (Media, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) finished with 13 points.
At the other end, the Terriers shot just 35.3 percent from the field (24-of-68), 21.4 percent from three-point range (3-of-14) and hit just 5-of-15 from the foul line. Rashidat Agboola led three BU players in double figures with 14 points and 10 rebounds.