WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) poured in a game-high 23 points and added seven assists to power the University of Saint Joseph women's basketball team past the College of Saint Joseph Fighting Saints, 76-68, in the opening game of the 20th Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament on Friday evening inside the O'Connell Center. The Blue Jays move on to play in the championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. against either Fitchburg State or Newbury College.
Score: University of Saint Joseph – 76, College of St. Joseph – 68
Records: USJ (2-0), CSJ (1-2)
Location: West Hartford, Conn. – O'Connell Center
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 10 points from senior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) in the first quarter helped the Blue Jays race out to a 22-16 edge over the Fighting Saints.
- A big three from the Fighting Saints junior Nakeeya Goodman-Boddie (Fitchburg, Mass.) tied it up at 9-all with five minutes left in the opening quarter.
- Sophomore Daija Black (Germantown, Md.) ended the opening period with a buzzer-beating three-point play, but the Blue Jays closed the first quarter on a 13-7 run to take the early advantage after one.
- CSJ responded and opened the second quarter with an 8-1 run to take a 24-23 lead, but Mayo drove end to end to halt the spurt and swung the momentum back to USJ.
- USJ consistently maintained a slight edge throughout the remainder of the period and took a 37-34 edge into the locker rooms at half.
- Pair of free throws makes it 44-42, largest CSJ lead.
- USJ used a key 8-0 spurt, capped by a nice step through move from senior Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.), late in the third quarter to take a 53-49 lead heading into the final period.
- A confident stroke from three from freshman Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.) pushed USJ's lead to 59-52 with under eight minutes left in regulation.
- A Mayo lay-in then gave USJ its largest lead up to that point with 6:55 left, 63-55.
- However, CSJ responded with a triple from Black with 3:13 left that sparked a 5-0 run to pull CSJ within two, 67-65.
- Despite poor free throw shooting throughout the game, the Blue Jays went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the victory, 76-68
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Four players finished in double figures for the Blue Jays led by Mayo with a game-high 23 points.
- Guest and freshman Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) each poured in 15 points, while Williams added 12 for USJ.
- Mayo was efficient hitting 6-of-11 attempts from the floor, 1-of-2 from three and 10-of-16 from the line. She also added a game-high seven assists and seven rebounds.
- Williams posted her first career double-double by adding 10 rebounds to go with her 12 points. Junior Diamond Wallen (Hartford, Conn.) finished with a game-high 11 boards for USJ.
- The Fighting Scotts held a slight 56-53 edge in total rebounds.
- CSJ had five players in double figures. Junior Alisha Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and freshman Rachel Bruneel (Parkland, Fla.) finished with 11 each.
- The Blue Jays forced 27 turnovers compared to 16 of their own and held a huge, 26-6, advantage in points off turnovers.
The USJ women's basketball team will look to capture its first USJ Tip-Off Tournament title since 2011 when they play in the championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. The College of Saint Joseph will play in the consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m.