WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) buried a jumper with 4:12 on the clock in the first quarter to give her seven points in the game and made her the eighth player in USJ basketball history to reach the 1,000-point career scoring plateau. Guest ended up finishing with a team-high 17 points in the game, but it wasn't enough as the Nichols College Bison downed the University of Saint Joseph, 75-50, in non-conference women's basketball action inside the O'Connell Center on Tuesday evening.
Score: University of Saint Joseph – 50, Nichols College – 75
Records: USJ (6-4), NC (3-6)
Location: West Hartford, Conn. – O'Connell Center
Date: Tuesday, January 2, 2018
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Junior Diamond Wallen (Hartford, Conn.) finally broke the scoreless drought to start the game with the first basket three minutes into the contest and sparked a 7-0 run for USJ.
- The Blue Jays built their largest lead of the game in the first quarter, 12-2, following a made free throw by freshman Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.).
- However, the Bison closed the opening frame with a 10-4 run to claw back and pull within 16-12 after the first 10 minutes.
- Senior Brooke Packard (Dudley, Mass.) fueled the run with five of the 10 points and finished with seven in the quarter.
- A back-and-forth second quarter saw the score knotted three times and change hands twice.
- After USJ freshman Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.) converted a pair of free throws to make it 22-19, sophomore Jessica Larsh (Bolton, Conn.) answered with a clutch three to draw the game even for the first time.
- Each team would trade a made free throw and a bucket over the final four minutes of the half, resulting in a 25-all deadlock entering the intermission.
- The second half was all Bison as they shot 63.3% (19-30) from the field over the final 20 minutes to pull away for the 75-50 victory.
- Tied at 29 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter, the visitors went on a huge 13-1 run to make it 42-30 and would never look back for the remainder of the game.
- A trio of three-pointers across a two-minute span powered the run, including a triple from freshman Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) to cap it.
- A jumper from Guest puled USJ within 47-36 with 1:41 left to play in the third, but that would be as close as the Blue Jays would get for the remainder of the game.
- Nichols led 50-36 at the end of the third period and carried the momentum over into the final quarter outscoring USJ 25-14 to account for the 75-50 final.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Guest led the way for the Blue Jays with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor as she now has 1,010 career points. She also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds in the setback.
- Williams added seven points and four rebounds, while junior Kenya Anselme (Hartford, Conn.) chipped in with six points and six boards in 19 minutes off the bench.
- Nichols had three players finish in double digits led by 18 from Larsh, including 13 in the second half to help the Bison pull away.
- Packard added 17 and senior Allison Cerrato (Rockland, Mass.) finished with 14 to join Larsh in double figures.
- Graduate senior Brittany Donovan (Newport, R.I.) and freshman Shannon St. Lawrence (Milton, N.H.) each grabbed a game-high nine rebounds as Nichols held a 45-38 edge on the glass.
- The Bison forced 23 USJ turnovers and turned them into 26 points and although they turned it over 21 times themselves it only resulted in five points for the Blue Jays.
The USJ women's basketball team will be back in action next with its final non-conference game on Thursday at Elms. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nichols also returns to the hardwood next on Thursday on the road in a CCC showdown at the University of New England in an afternoon affair beginning at 11 a.m.