WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The first win of the season for the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team comes in dominating fashion, beating the Bay Path University (BPU) Wildcats, 83-37.
The Blue Jays hadn't scored 20 points in a quarter through the first two games, but did in all but the fourth quarter tonight. They led in all but the opening moments, anchored by an onslaught of three-pointers from sophomore guard Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.), freshman guard Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.), and sophomore guard Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.), who combined to make 10 of USJ's 11 threes for the game. Voislow led all scorers with 15 points (4-9 3FG). She also grabbed two rebounds and dished out three assists. Chevarella (15 Points, 4 Assists) and Barcomb (13 Points, 6 Rebounds) had three threes each. The trio scored half of the Blue Jays' points on the night. Freshman guard Yakira Edwards (Waterbury, Conn.) led BPU with a hard fought 13 points.
Voislow opened things up for USJ with a three from the left wing. The Wildcats coming out in a 2-3 zone.
The Blue Jays continued to rely on their 3-2 zone, forcing BPU to throw it over their outstretched arms, which led to several deflections and three early turnovers.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jays held a 9-1 lead at the start. A three from sophomore forward Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.), and extra effort once again from senior center Diamond Wallen (Hartford, Conn.) gave USJ a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter.
The Blue Jays continued to push the ball off turnovers and rebounds. Even on a miss, USJ found a way to score. Nine offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone, and with key rebounds from sophomore center Deanna De La Cruz (Winsted, Conn.), who had a double-double (14 Points, 10 Rebounds), St. Joe's held a commanding 20-6 lead after one, holding BPU to just 2-for-16 shooting.
The Wildcats would respond in the play of sophomore guard Emmeline Bronson (Shelton, Conn.), who drilled two jumpers in the opening minute of the quarter. The Blue Jay lead was quickly down to 10.
It was all USJ from there, exploding on a 21-8 run, led by Voislow and Chevarella, who contributed in the paint and behind the arc. Chevarella broke free for a coast-to-coast layup, after a steal at the top of the zone off a cross-court pass. Barcomb also contributed on the catch and on the break. The Blue Jays held a commanding lead at the half, 41-18, and never looked back.
St. Joe's kept the pressure on in the second half, attacking the offensive glass and moving the ball with no remorse. Wallen and Voislow, along with freshman guard Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.), and freshman forward Cheyenne Mone-Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) were all on the attack.
Nine of 10 Blue Jays scored on the night, shooting a season-high 41.5% from the floor, and scoring 35 points off turnovers. The big numbers came in the paint and off the bench though. USJ scored 40 more points than BPU in the paint, and outscored the Wildcat bench, 44-0. The Wildcats did not let the numbers bring them down though, fighting on every possession until the buzzer sounded.
St. Joe's will play the second of a three-game homestand vs. Mount Holyoke this Friday night at 6:00 pm, part of the USJ Tip-off Tournament, inside the O'Connell Athletic Center on the campus of USJ.