WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team could not keep up with the sharp and tactical approach of Emmanuel College (EC), who took a double-digit lead early and did not look back, defeating USJ 83-42, inside the O'Connell Athletic Center Saturday afternoon.
The color pink could clearly be seen around the gym and on Blue Jay gear, from their headbands to their shoes. It was the first ever "Pink Game" for USJ, raising awareness for Breast Cancer.
The Blue Jays (3-20, 0-10 GNAC) were led by sophomore guard Raelynn Voislow (Windsor Locks, Conn.), who scored 11 points (3-6 3FG) and grabbed four rebounds. Freshman forward Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) also scored 11. The Saints (18-5, 9-1), who just had their nine-game winning streak snapped, are back to their winning ways once again, led by junior guard Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.), who scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Saints took a 22-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Junior guard Kayla Weaver (West Haven, Conn,) scored nine of her 13 in the first quarter, including an and-one. EC used full-court pressure to force several turnovers, leading to easy baskets. Freshman guard Hannah Benson (Terryville, Conn.) drilled a jumper with 10 seconds left in the quarter to get USJ on the board for the second time.
Saint Joe's came out of the timeout with some fire in their eyes, as Voislow and fellow sophomore guard Anna Chevarella (Derby, Conn.) sank jumpers (5-0 run) to get things going. Smith also began to put the ball in the hoop with her patented hard drives to the paint. While they did not chip into the lead, they did at least stand their ground, trailing 38-19 after a pair of free-throws from freshman forward Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.), with 3:08 left in the quarter.
The Saints then put it in high gear, capping the half on a 12-0 run, as sophomore guard Jamad Fiin (Boston, Mass.) scored six of the final eight to open the game up for good. EC led 50-19 at the half.
Voislow continued to knock down shots when she had an opening, but for every Blue Jay basket, there was an answer from the Saints, as Ramirez-Tejeda converted from inside and out possession after possession. The Blue Jays' defense was much better this quarter, holding EC to just 15 points, after allowing 22 or more in the first two. USJ trailed 65-32 going to the fourth quarter.
The Saints built up the lead once again, as 10 different Saints players scored on the game. They did it without shooting the three ball well all day (1-12 3FG), outscoring USJ 50–20 in the paint.
USJ will play their second to last game of the season at home against Lasell (MA) on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. Emmanuel also plays Tuesday, as they travel to Suffolk (MA) for a matchup at 5:00 p.m.