Defense Leads Saint Joseph's Women's Basketball Past La Salle, 68-31

PHILADELPHIA – Posting its best defensive performance of the season, the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team topped La Salle, 68-31, in both teams Big 5 finale Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. Holding the Explorers to just 23 percent shooting (14-of-61), the Hawks capped City Series play with a 3-1 record and improved to 19-6 overall and 10-1 in the Atlantic 10.


Backed by redshirt senior Chatilla van Grinsven’s (Helmond, Netherland/Dr. Kippenberg College) 16 points and 15 rebound performance, Saint Joseph’s jumped out to an 18-3 lead on a layup by Mireia Vila (Cabrera Del Mar, Spain/Escola Pia Santa Anna) with 10:14 to go in the half. The Hawks held La Salle to 1-of-14 shooting to start the game and caused three turnovers in the opening portion of the first half.


Keeping the Explorers (8-18, 4-7 Atlantic 10, 1-3 Big 5) at a distance, the Hawks opened an 18-point gap, 29-11, before heading to the half up 30-13. Saint Joseph’s defense forced La Salle to just 17.2 percent shooting (5-of-29) in the half, while van Grinsven posted her 12th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes.


Saint Joseph’s defense continued to dominate in the second half as the Hawks pulled away at the other end. Outscoring the Explorers 38-18 in the second frame, SJU kept La Salle to just 28.1 percent shooting (9-of-32) for the half en route to the Hawks fewest points allowed since the 1999-2000 season.


Overall, the Hawks shot 45.2 percent from the field (28-of-62), 27.3 percent from three-point ranges (3-of-11) and 81.8 percent from the foul line (9-of-11). Finishing with a 48-32 advantage in rebounds as a team, SJU senior Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral), redshirt sophomore Natasha Cloud (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and junior guard Erin Shields (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) joined van Grinsven in double figured. Prim finished with a game-high five assists to go with 11 points, while Cloud and Shields each added 10 points apiece.


At the other end, Shanel Harrison paced La Salle with 12 points.


The Hawks return to action this Sunday at Fordham. Game time is set for 2 p.m.