NEW YORK, N.Y.— The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team trailed by two with two minutes left, but executed in crunch time, defeating John Jay College (JJC) in an intense battle to the end, 66-56, inside 'The Doghouse' on a cold and windy Monday night.
The Blue Jays (3-14, 0-4 GNAC) snap a 12-game losing streak. The Bloodhounds (9-7, 5-4 CUNYAC) have lost three of their last four.
Freshman forward Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) broke through with a fabulous all-around game; 14 points, seven rebounds, five steals, three blocks and three assists. Smith was the high scorer for USJ, and converted on a few late lay-ins to give the Blue Jays the lead. Freshman forward Katie Healy (Merrick, N.Y.) was sensational in her own right, dropping a game-high 26 points (6-11 3FG), 12 rebounds and five steals.
Saint Joe's got off to a great start, taking a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 21-11. Six different Blue Jays put the ball in the hoop in the first. The hot hand started with sophomore forward Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.), who scored on a quick layup, before drilling a three. Smith got to the foul line, along with freshman guard Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.), and freshman forward Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.). USJ had six steals in the first quarter alone.
The Bloodhounds came roaring back in the second quarter, outscoring USJ by five to cut the lead in half, 34-29, going into the locker room. Healy got free for scores and got to the line, while junior forward Nyasha Howard (New York, N.Y.) helped clean up the middle. JJC was as close as a point, but USJ maintained it at five.
The start of the second half belonged to the stars, as Healy and Smith both scored early on. They were the only two to score in the first five minutes of the third quarter. The game would remain tight into to the end of the period, with neither team able to maintain their advantage. The Blue Jays led 46-43 as Barcomb layed in a bucket as time expired.
A layup by Smith, and a jumpshot from freshman point guard Devona Kinsey (New Britain, Conn.) pushed the gap to six, 51-45 with 6:30 left to play. The Bloodhounds suddenly took control, as a 10-2 run behind the duo of Howard and Healy gave JJC the lead, 55-53, with 2:07 to go. Smith turned on the crunch time switch, as she broke free for back-to-back layups, the first on a pass from Williams. From there, it was about getting stops and hitting free-throws. USJ did both, as their defense stepped up in each of the final three posessions while the game was in reach. Smith added two more layups for comfort, good for eight critical points in a one minute span. Sophomore point guard Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.) calmly sank four free throws, and the Blue Jays capped the final two minutes on a 13-1 run, walking out with a gutsy victory in New York.
USJ will play their fifth of six away from home on Thursday, January 24 at Johnson & Wales (RI), at 7:00 p.m. John Jay will be back home on Wednesday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. against Staten Island (NY).