WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — What a night to be a Blue Jay, as the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team completed a miraculous 19-point second-half comeback to defeat the Dean College Bulldogs (DC), 53-50, in front of a frantic O'Connell Center crowd Thursday night.
Freshman forward Alexis Perrone (Frankfort, N.Y.) had the best game of her young career, aiding the comeback with 12 second-half points to lead all Saint Joseph scorers (10 in the third quarter). The Blue Jays trailed 39-20 with 4:18 left in the third when second-year head coach Wendy Davis had seen enough, inserting five new players into the game (including Perrone). The comeback was on, as Perrone, along with freshmen Tiana Asberry (East Hartford, Conn.), Khalise Harris (South Windsor, Conn.) and Meredith Forman (Bristol, Conn) teamed up with junior co-captain Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.) to complete a 12-3 run to end the quarter, cutting the gap to 10, 42-32. They held the Bulldogs to just eight points in the fourth, and took the lead with 2:32 to play on a wing three from Perrone.
Sophomore forward Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) gave the Blue Jays the lead for the final time on a driving shot with 1:13 to go, and after two clutch free-throws from Williams, and critical stops down the stretch, the Blue Jays won for the fourth time this season, bettering their win total already from all of last year. Freshman guard Sadie Homer (North Easton, Mass.) played all 40 minutes and had a double-double for DC (22 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL, 3 AST). It was easily her best performance of the year, but it wasn't enough to pull out the win.
Score: Saint Joseph 53, Dean 50
Records: USJ (4-2), DC (0-4)
Location: O'Connell Center - West Hartford, Conn.
PLAYER QUOTE [Alexis Perrone]
"We worked so well together to pull through for this win. Without our defense, we wouldn't have been able to pull through like we did. You can really feel the energy [in the O'Connell Center]. It's amazing, it really pushes you to be into the game….I wouldn't have been able to do it without my team."
COACH QUOTE [Wendy Davis]
"I'm so excited for that group that quite frankly doesn't play much. They work hard every day in practice, and at one point I was just done with my starters, and that group stepped up, and I love the fact that I have that this year. They stepped up to the challenge tonight."
- After being held scoreless the first three minutes, the Bulldogs went on a 16-1 run as they ramped up the full-court pressure. Senior guard Arielle Harrell (Stockton, Calif.) sparked the run with back-to-back three-point bombs. Homer did a little bit of everything.
- The Bulldogs maintained a 10-12 point lead most of the way, and came out in the second half on an 11-2 run to take their largest lead of the night, 39-20, on three threes (two from Homer). USJ called timeout down 19 with four minutes to go in the third.
- The Blue Jay bench went to work, trimming the lead to back to ten by the end of the third. Williams had a pair of putbacks, while Perrone and Harris got in the mix offensively. 42-32 DC to the fourth.
- Harris and Perrone traded big shot after big shot, capped by a clutch three from the wing to give USJ its first lead since the opening moments, 47-46 with 2:32 to play.
- Both teams traded the lead for the next minute and a half until a pair of stops on D gave the Blue Jays a chance to put it away. Williams sank two free throws with five seconds left, and on the last chance for the Bulldogs, Homer could not get a clean look off, completing the largest comeback under Wendy Davis' regime.
NUMBER TO KNOW
38 - The USJ bench outscored Dean's 38-9, including 29-3 in the second half.
- Dean's dynamic duo; sophomore stud Makayla Rudder (Springfield, Mass.) and freshman big Alexah Potter (East Hartford, Conn.), who came into tonight averaging a combined 27 points a game, were held to 12 points on 5-of-20 shooting. Both players fouled out (third straight time for Potter).
- Perrone finished 2-for-4 from downtown and remains in the top-five in the conference in three-point percentage.
- There was at one point a series of seven straight turnovers combined from both teams.
- Sophomore guard Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) went scoreless for just the second time in her career (0-6 FG in both games) after finishing with a triple-double on Tuesday night at Elms.
The Blue Jays will look to make it three in a row as they head on the road Tuesday, November 26 against Mitchell College. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. in the Yarnall Athletic Center.
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