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Basketball Downed by Emmanuel Saturday, 82-59

Basketball Downed by Emmanuel Saturday, 82-59

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Carlee Putnam (Niantic, CT) poured in a game-high 21 points, but the Emmanuel College Saints used high-pressure, full-court defense and forced 31 USJ turnovers to down the Blue Jays, 82-59, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) showdown on Saturday afternoon inside the O'Connell Center. The Blue Jays slide to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the GNAC with the loss, while the Saints improve to 3-3 on the year and 2-0 in the league.

Putnam netted her game-high 21 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and converted 5-of-6 free throw attempts. She also added a pair of steals and blocks in 38 minutes of floor time. Junior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, CT) joined Putnam in double figures with 14 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists. Sophomore Diamond Wallen (Hartford, CT) also had her best game of the season so far for USJ sinking eight points and grabbing six rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

Sophomore sharpshooter Maddie McLaughlin (Westerly, RI) paced Emmanuel with a team-high 13 points on four three-pointers and a made free throw. Senior Alexis Ezell (Acworth, GA) posted a double-double in the victory with 12 points and 11 rebounds and classmate Jen Chalk (Horseheads, NY) joined McLaughlin and Ezell in double figures with 12 points. Freshman Kayla Weaver (West Haven, CT) also had a nice afternoon for the Saints finishing with nine points, six assists and five steals.

Emmanuel utilized intense high-pressure, full-court defense for all 40 minutes of the contest. They made themselves prevalent from tip-off and raced out to an early 10-4 lead halfway through the opening quarter. The Blue Jays would settle in though and chipped away to tie the game, 12-12, after a three-pointer from Putnam with 1:22 left in the first period. Emmanuel went up by one following a made free throw and then USJ took their lone lead of the game, 14-13, after a pair of made free throws from freshman Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, CT). The next trip down the floor McLaughlin would hit a three and the Saints would never trail again.

The Saints held the Blue Jays scoreless for the first 5:15 of the second quarter and used a 9-0 run over that span to build a 25-14 lead to take control of the pace of play. Wallen would end the drought with a jumper, but USJ could only muster seven points in the quarter and Emmanuel took a 33-21 lead into the halftime break.

A 31-point third quarter by Emmanuel separated the Saints from the Blue Jays. USJ exited the locker rooms and pulled within 11 (37-26) after another three from Putnam and then got as close as 10 (44-34) following a lay-in by Wallen with 5:42 left to play, but then the Saints held the hosts to just three more points over the remainder of the quarter. Emmanuel's 20-3 run to close the frame put them up 64-37 heading into the final period of play.

Emmanuel built its lead to as big as 28 (75-47) in the final quarter after a made jumper by Weaver with 5:12 left in regulation, but USJ fought tough and ended up outscoring the visitors in the period, 22-18, to account for the 82-59 final.

USJ shot 32.2 percent (19-59) from the floor and 59.4 percent (19-32) from the free throw line in the loss, while Emmanuel converted at a 42.3 percent (33-78) clip from the field and 60.0 percent from the charity stripe. The Saints held a 52-45 edge on the glass and outscored the Blue Jays 36-24 in points in the paint.

Emmanuel forced 31 USJ turnovers and turned them into 25 points, while the Blue Jays forced 22 turnovers and scored 14 points off them. The Saints recorded 21 assists as a team to USJ's eight.

The University of Saint Joseph will look to end its skid as they return to action next with a non-conference matchup on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Lesley College. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.