PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's seniors Kelly Cavallo, Katie Kuester, Michelle Baker, and Samira van Grinsven combined for 37 points as Saint Joseph's defeated George Washington, 52-49, on Sunday afternoon at Hagan Arena.
With the win, the Hawks end regular season play at 19-9 overall and 9-5 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph's will be the five seed as the team hosts 12th-seeded Fordham in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Championships this Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Leading 26-20 after a first half that saw seven lead changes, the Hawks would not lose the lead again as they would go on to extend their lead by as much as 11. Less than a minute into the first half, Baker nailed a jumper that began a Saint Joseph's run that saw Baker, Kuester, and Cavallo combine for 11 points over six minutes of play.
George Washington (11-7, 4-10 A-10) scored the next six points of the game to cut the deficit to five as the Colonials trailed the Hawks 37-32 at 11:20. Kuester scored her third three-pointer of the game and junior guard Mireia Vila drained back-to-back three pointers of her own to give the Hawks a 46-36 lead with 7:42 remaining in the second half.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, George Washington's Danni Jackson made a layup to bring the Colonials to within four but Cavallo answered with a layup of her own to extend the Hawk lead back to 49-43. George Washington's Tara Booker answered with back-to-back threes for the Colonials to bring George Washington to within two, but a Cavallo free throw gave the Hawks a three point advantage and eventual win, 52-49.
Down 16-15 in the first half, Saint Joseph's went on an 11-0 run as seniors van Grinsven, Kuester, and Baker combined for 9 of the Hawk's 11 points to lead George Washington 26-16 with 2:14 remaining.
George Washington would score the next four points of the game to close the gap to within six points, but the Hawks would retain the lead at 26-20 heading into the second half. Senior Hawks van Grinsven, Cavallo, Kuester and Baker combined for 17 of Saint Joseph's 26 first-half points.
For the game, the Hawks hit 20-of-53 from the floor (37.7 percent) and 5-of-13 from three-point range while shooting 7-of-11 from the foul line (63.6 percent).
Individually, Cavallo led the Hawks with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 shooting from the foul line. Kuester added 11 points, Baker netted eight and van Grinsven and junior guard Mireia Vila chipped in six points apiece. van Grinsven and Prim pulled down seven boards each and Shields dished out a game-high five assists for the Hawks.
At the other end of the floor, George Washington shot 35.7 percent (20-of-56) and 63.6 percent from foul line. The Colonials held the edge on rebounds, 37-36, but shot just 16.7 percent from behind the arc on 2-of-12 shooting. Tara Booker gathered a double-double for George Washington as she led all scorers with 15 points and added 12 rebounds.
In a pregame ceremony, the Hawks honored its seniors - Baker, Cavallo, Kuester, van Grinsven, manager Brandon Vas, and the Hawk, Nick Martino.
Additionally, with the win, head coach Cindy Griffin moved into second place for most wins in team history with 197.