PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team defeated the Fairfield Stags, 51-38, in the semifinals of the 21st Annual Hawk Classic at Hagan Arena on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Hawks advance to the title game and will face UMBC at 2 p.m. tomorrow for the championship.
Up 24-10 entering the second half, Saint Joseph’s went on a 16-4 run as Redshirt senior forward Chatilla van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Dr. Knippenberg College) exploded for seven of her nine total points. From there, the Hawks gave up just 24 more points in the half, holding the Stags to just 38 points in all, the least amount of points that the Hawks have allowed in a game all season.
In the first half, Saint Joseph’s (7-4) went on a 14-3 run early on as six different Hawks scored at least two points each. Redshirt junior forward Kelsey Berger (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) tallied back-to-back baskets to extend Saint Joseph’s lead to 21-8 at the 3:56 mark and senior Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) added a foul shot to give the Hawks a 14-point advantage, their biggest lead of the half.
Fairfield’s Christa Scognamiglio would add a layup for the Stags with 35.6 seconds remaining, but redshirt sophomore guard Natasha Cloud (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) would respond with a layup of her own to close out the half.
The Hawks held Fairfield (5-5) to just 10 points on 19.0 percent (4-of-21) shooting from the floor in the first half, the least amount of points that the Hawks have allowed in a first half all season.
For the game, the Hawks shot 36.1 percent (22-for-61) from the floor compared to the Stags’ 31.3 percent shooting (15-for-48) but held the eventual advantage in rebounds, 46-30.
Van Grinsven paced SJU with nine points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Cloud, Prim, and junior forward Ashley Robinson (Warrington, Pa./Archbishop Wood) added seven points apiece for SJU. Cloud and junior guard Erin Shields (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) tallied three assists each while Cloud and junior forward Ilze Gotfrida (Dobele, Latvia/Rigas Secondary School No. 49) pulled down five rebounds each.
The Hawks scored 16 points off of turnovers and eight points off of fast breaks while keeping the Stags scoreless in both categories.
In the opening game of Hawk Classic, UMBC came from behind to top Wagner 48-43. The Seahawks and Stage will play in the consolation game at noon tomorrow.