Fourth-Quarter Surge Lifts Basketball Over Elms, 59-52

Fourth-Quarter Surge Lifts Basketball Over Elms, 59-52

CHICOPEE, Mass. – Trailing 43-42 heading into the final quarter, the University of Saint Joseph used a fourth-quarter surge, outscoring the Elms College Blazers 17-9, to escape with a 59-52 victory in a non-conference women's basketball contest on the road inside Picknelly Arena on Thursday evening. Senior Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) led the way for the Blue Jays posting her eighth double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds. She poured in seven fourth-quarter points to fuel the late surge.

THE BASICS
Score: University of Saint Joseph – 59, Elms College – 52
Records: USJ (9-15), EC (9-15)
Location: Chicopee, Mass. – Picknelly Arena
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Elms' junior guard Kayla Aberdale (Housatonic, Mass.) drained a three with three minutes left in the opening quarter to pull within 6-5, but the Blue Jays answered with a 7-0 run to close the quarter and go up 13-5 after the first 10 minutes.
  • USJ built its lead to as big as 14 (28-14) in the second period after senior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:41 to play before halftime.
  • The Blazers ended the half strong though and rattled off a 9-2 run to close the period and get within 30-23 heading into the locker rooms.
  • Elms carried the run over into the beginning of the third period scoring the first six points to make it 30-29 just over a minute and a half into second-half play.
  • USJ responded with a quick 4-0 spurt, but both teams would trade buckets and runs over the remainder of the period to keep things tight.
  • Elms would take its first lead of the evening with a half-court buzzer-beater from senior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) to close the third quarter with a 43-42 edge.
  • Each team traded layups to start the fourth quarter and then freshman Melicia Mendez (Hartford, Conn.) drained her second career three to put the Blue Jays up 47-45 and they would never trail again.
  • The Blazers got within four a couple times down the stretch, but USJ answered each time with a score to escape with the 59-52 victory.                             

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Guest led all scorers with 24 points and also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end, to post the eighth double-double of her senior season. She also swiped four steals and added a pair of blocks.
  • Mayo joined Guest in double figures with 13 points and also dished out a game-best five assists.
  • Junior Kenya Anselme (Hartford, Conn.) chipped in with six points and grabbed a career-high 10 caroms off the bench in the win.
  • Freshman Angelica Peguero-Flores (Springfield, Mass.) and LaRochelle paced the offense for the Blazers with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
  • The Blue Jays shot 35.9% (23-64) from the field in the victory, while holding Elms to 31.0% (18-58) shooting from the floor.
  • USJ forced 26 turnovers by the hosts and turned them into 24 points. Elms held a slight 46-40 rebounding advantage as a team, but the Blue Jays dominated down low offensively and held a 36-20 advantage in points in the paint.

UP NEXT
The USJ women's basketball team concludes the 2017-18 season when they head to Boston to take on Suffolk University on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off with the Rams.