WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team had no answers for senior guard Rene Hudson (Gallatin, Tenn.), who scored a game-high 35 points, en route to a 78-58 win for New England College (NEC) in the championship game of the 22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament, inside the O'Connell Center Saturday afternoon.
Hudson dropped 35 in 31 minutes off the bench (14-26 FG), along with six rebounds and three assists. She was the only one in double figures for NEC, but it was more than enough to hang onto the lead. Sophomore Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) was the only one in double figures for USJ, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, garnering all-tournament team honors. The Blue Jays trailed by eight at the half, but were outscored by 13 in the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.
New England College won the 22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament for the first time. The Pilgrims previously finished runner-up in 2003 and 2005. For the Blue Jays, it is their 12th runner-up finish. Sophomore forward Brianna Pierreval (Boynton Beach, Fla.) was the tournament's most valuable player, averaging 10 points and six rebounds in two games.
22nd Annual USJ Tip-Off Tournament All-Tournament Team
Katie Smith (Curry)
Nandi Eskridge (Pine Manor)
Cheyenne-Mone Smith (USJ)
Kayla Goldring (NEC)
Brianna Pierreval (NEC)- MVP
Score: Saint Joseph 58, New England 78
Records: USJ (2-2), NEC (2-0)
Location: O'Connell Center | West Hartford, Conn.
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"We played with a team that made NCAA's last year for three out of four quarters, so I'm proud of my team's effort. We just could not match their athleticism or height. Playing a team like this will ultimately make us better in the end."
- The Blue Jays cut the gap to four, 13-9, early in the second quarter on a pair of free throws from Smith, but the Pilgrims turned it around with an 11-4 run to regain their double-digit lead.
- After trailing 28-20 at the half, the Blue Jays looked as if a run was coming, only the Pilgrims shut the door and went on a run of their own, outscoring USJ 12-1 over the first five minutes to pull ahead, 40-21.
- Despite the game being out of reach, USJ put up an impressive 29 fourth-quarter points, equaling their total from the first three quarters.
NUMBER TO KNOW
13 – The number of Blue Jays who scored Saturday, the most so far this season.
- The teams shot a combined 65 free throws with both making 20.
- Hudson scored 14 of her 35 points in the third quarter. The Blue Jays scored only nine as a team.
- Eight Blue Jays combined for 29 fourth-quarter points.
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Tuesday, November 19 when they play Elms College in Chicopee, Mass. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
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