PHILADELPHIA – Behind a 32-9 run that spanned both halves, the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team opened Atlantic 10 play with an 82-62 victory over Richmond Saturday afternoon at Hagan Arena. The Hawks got 24 points from redshirt senior forward Chatilla van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Dr. Knippenberg College) and 21 points from junior guard Erin Shields (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) as they improved to 10-5 overall.
With the Spiders ahead 29-26, Saint Joseph’s grabbed the momentum, finishing the half on a 9-2 run as senior guard Ashley Prim’s (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) last second layup gave her team a 36-31 lead heading into the second half.
Opening the second stanza up five points, the Hawks quickly pulled away from the Spiders. Saint Joseph’s used a 22-7 run to begin the half, converting 9-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line as a three-pointer by Prim gave SJU a 58-38 lead.
Richmond (10-7, 0-1 A-10) would cut the lead to 11, but the Hawks would not allow their opponents to get any closer as they improved to 27-4 all-time in conference openers.
In the first half, Saint Joseph’s opened its biggest lead of the first half behind a quick 5-0 run. A jumper from redshirt sophomore guard Natasha Cloud (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara), followed by a three-point play from van Grinsven put the Hawks up 21-13 with 8:01 to go in the stanza.
Richmond responded with a 14-4 run over the next four minutes, opening a 27-25 edge on a pair of free throws by Kristina King at 3:28. The Spiders would hold the lead for less than two minutes as SJU countered and took over the game.
For the game, Saint Joseph's shot 42.4 percent from the field (28-of-66), including 56 percent in the second half *14-of-25). The Hawks converted on 4-of-11 from behind the arc (36.4 percent) , 22-of-28 from the foul line (78.6 percent) and outrebounded Richmond 50-32.
Hitting 10—of-17 from the floor and four free throws, van Grinsven matched her second-highest offensive output of her career finishing with 24 points to go with 18 rebounds. The 18 boards are tied for the ninth most in a single game in SJU history.
Additionally, Shields was 6-of-14 from the floor, including three three-pointers and added six free throws to finish with 21 points to go with four assists. Prim added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Cloud was the fourth Hawk in double figures, scoring 10 points and adding a game-high six assists.
At the other end, Richmond hit 44.21 percent from the field (26-of-59), 3-of-12 from three-point range and just 7-of-18 from the foul line (38.9 percent). Becca Wann led Richmond with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks return to action this Thursday, January 17 at George Washington at 7 p.m.