WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Freshman Shaniyah Williams' (New Britain, Conn.) second career double-double of 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds paired with USJ's best three-point shooting performance of the season downed the Anna Maria Amcats at home in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest inside the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon.
Score: University of Saint Joseph – 56, Anna Maria College – 45
Records: USJ (7-5, 2-2 GNAC), AMC (1-12, 0-4 GNAC)
Location: West Hartford, Conn. – O'Connell Center
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Despite a couple runs by the Amcats to pull within a field goal, the Blue Jays never trailed in a wire-to-wire 56-45 victory.
- USJ started out hot from behind the arc sinking two of their season-best six three-pointers to jump out to a 6-2 lead.
- Williams buried the third three of the quarter for USJ with 3:26 left on the clock to build an early 11-7 edge.
- The Amcats would trim the deficit to 13-11 following a jumper from graduate senior Johanna Burke (Oxford, Mass.), but a buzzer-beating jumper from senior Kayla Guest (Newington Conn.) to end the opening quarter saw the hosts ahead 16-11.
- Williams' second three-pointer of the half with just under four minutes to play before the break gave the Blue Jays its largest lead of the half, 28-19.
- However, Anna Maria closed the second quarter strong and used an 8-2 run to pull within 30-27 heading into the halftime intermission. Burke accounted for five of the points during the spurt.
- Three-pointers from junior Kenya Anselme (Hartford, Conn.) and Williams in the opening minutes of the third quarter built USJ's lead back to six, 36-30.
- The Amcats would respond once again though and closed the gap to 40-39 after an and-one from senior Kristina Russo (South Windsor, Conn.) with 2:40 to play in the third.
- That would be as close as Anna Maria would get though as the Blue Jays ended the period with four straight points to take a 44-39 edge into the final stanza.
- USJ's defense stepped up and they would control the final quarter outscoring the visitors 12-6 over the final 10 minutes to secure the 56-45 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Williams finished the afternoon with her second career double-double with 10 points and career-high 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. She was 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
- Guest and classmate Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) both also finished in double figures for USJ. Guest dropped in a game-high 15 points while Mayo added 10 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
- Junior Dhimitra Hatika (South Windsor, Conn.) cleaned up the glass for USJ with a season-best nine rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.
- Russo led the way for the Amcats with a team-high 13 points while Burke posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
- Sophomore Hailey Moore (Worcester, Mass.) chipped in with seven points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks for the visitors.
- USJ shot just 28.6% (20-70) from the field in the win, but connected for 42.9% (6-14) from beyond the arc and was efficient at the charity stripe hitting for 76.9% (10-13).
- The Amcats were held to 26.3% (15-57) shooting from the field, 19.0% (4-21) from three and 55.0% (11-20) from the line.
The USJ women's basketball team will look to keep things rolling when they return to the hardwood next on Tuesday, Jan. 16 on the road against intrastate rival Albertus Magus. The GNAC tilt is slated for tip-off at 7 p.m. Anna Maria is also back in play next on Tuesday when they host Emmanuel at 7:30 p.m.