PHILADELPHIA – Backed by its senior class, the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team downed Massachusetts, 87-50, Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. The Hawks got a combined 42 points from seniors Chatilla van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherland/Dr. Kippenberg College), Mireia Vila (Cabrera Del Mar, Spain/Escola Pia Santa Anna), Ashley Prim (Ansonia, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) and Shelby Smith (Ames, Iowa/West) as they earned improved to 20-7 overall and 11-2 in the Atlantic 10.
From the tip, Saint Joseph’s was in full control, hitting 5-of-6 from the floor and a pair of free throws as it jumped out to a 13-0 lead.
Leading 36-21, the Hawks opened their lead to 47-23 as Smith scored six of her 11 points during her team’s 11-2 run. Saint Joseph’s would take a 50-25 lead into halftime as it finished the opening half shooting 63.3 percent from the field (19-of-30), while holding the Minutewomen to 30 percent (9-of-30).
Saint Joseph’s would control the second half as it allowed Massachusetts to get no closer than the halftime deficit.
For the game, the Hawks shot a season-best 57.9 percent from the floor (33-of-57), 58.3 percent from three-point range (7-of-12) and 14-of-21 from the foul line. At the other end, the Minutewomen were held to 27 percent shooting (17-of-63), 16.7 percent from behind the arc (4-of-24) and 12-of-16 from the foul line. Saint Joseph’s finished with 21 assists and a 42-32 edge in rebounding.
Individually, van Grinsven had a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds for her third straight double-double and 14th overall on the year. She added three blocked shots and three steals as well. Junior ilze Gotfrida (Dobele, Latvia/Rigas Regional No. 42) added 13 points, while Smith had a season-best 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Additionally all 11 SJU players finished with at least three points as the Hawks earned their 20th win of the season for the third consecutive year.
At the other end, Jasmine Harris scored a team-best 11 points to lead Massachusetts.
The Hawks return to action Sunday at Dayton. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 2 p.m.