PHILADELPHIA -The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team is headed to the Atlantic 10 title game next Saturday in Brooklyn as the Hawks topped #11 Dayton in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Sunday afternoon at Hagan Arena. With the win, the Hawks will now play for the A-10 title next Saturday, March 16 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The Hawks held a 52-49 lead with 2:45 remaining in regulation, but Dayton's Andrea Hoover hit a jumper to bring the Flyers to within one,
SJU's redshirt senior Chatilla van Grinsven responded with a jumper of her own to bring the Hawks back up three, 54-51 with 2:12 to go.
Following a defensive stop, junior Erin Shields was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to extend SJU's lead to 56-51 with just over a minute to play.
Saint Joseph's would cause a Dayton turnover in its next possession, leading to two more free throws by Shields to extend the lead to 58-51.
The Flyers would get a three-pointer by Ally Mallott to cut the deficit to four, 58-54 with 41 seconds to play.
Saint Joseph's would close out the win from the line, hitting 3-of-4 foul shots to earn the win and advance to the A-10 title game.
In a hot first half, the Hawks led by as many as 15, 33-18, as the Hawks hit 16-of-35 from the field (45.7 percent), while holding Dayton to just 29.6 percent (8-of-27).
Despite a 35-24 lead coming into the second half, the Hawks would face a tough battle back from Dayton as the flyers cut it to a single-possession game in the final minutes.
van Grinsven led all scorers with 19 points and 10 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the season. Junior Erin Shields hit 12 points while classmate Ilze Gotfrida was good for 10 points and eight assists. Senior Ashley Prim netted eight points and pulled down a game-leading and career high 13 points.
Saint Joseph's outshot Dayton in the first half, shooting 45.7 percent (16-of-35) from the floor as opposed to Dayton's 29.6 percent (8-of-27). For the game, the Hawks held advantages in rebounds, 42-32, and steals, 11-5, while turning the ball over four less times than the Flyers.