PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/29/2015 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks trailed by nine points to start the fourth quarter. The Hawks rallied to tie then game, then battled back and forth down the stretch to earn a 70 – 67 win over the Temple Owls at McGonigle Hall. It was the first win of the season for Saint Joe’s who were led by guard Ciara Andrews who scored a game-high 27 points and forward Chelsea Woods with 20 points. Both players set career scoring marks.
“What a great battle, Big Five typical, end of the wire game,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “I’m proud of our kids coming back from a deficit. It was a team effort. It was a great game of Philly basketball.”
Temple led by as many as 14 points in the contest. Starting the fourth quarter the Owls held a 55 – 46 advantage. In that final quarter Saint Joe’s kept chipping away finally tying the game at 60 on bucket by Andrews with just under five minutes left. The game became a back and forth affair. Forward Sarah Fairbanks gave SJU a lead at the 3:18 mark which started a string of seven consecutive lead changes. Guard Feyonda Fitzgerald, who scored 19 points, made a three-pointer to answer. A layup by Woods at the 21 second mark tilted the game in the Hawks direction. Andrews made 2 free throws with 4 seconds on the clock for the final margin of victory.
“We were resilient, never stopped fighting,” said Andrews. “It was a back and forth game, We said ‘stay together and grind it out,’ and we got a win.”
Andrews made 8 of 15 from the floor and sunk 11 of 13 from the foul line. Woods added 12 rebounds to register a double-double. Fairbanks put in 10 points. As a team Saint Joseph’s made 20 of 25 from the line.
For the Owls Fitzgerald was 7 of 18 from the floor and made 2 of 7 three’s. Guards Tanaya Atkinson added 12 points and guard Alliya Butts scored 10. As a team the charity stripe was an issue for the Cherry and White as they made 10 of 17.
“I felt like we had the game in hand early on the fourth,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We got lax and allowed them to score. Down the stretch in the last three minutes Saint Joe’s really wanted to win the game. I felt like we were trying to hold on. They were playing to try to get the win, and we were playing the game hoping not to lose.”
The Hawks improve to 1 – 3, and even their Big Five record at 1 – 1. They will take the floor on Wednesday morning at Lehigh in their next outing. Temple falls to 2 – 3, 1 – 1 in city play, and have another Big Five game on the docket as Villanova visits on Wednesday.
“Big Five games are more special than any other game,” Andrews said about getting a city series victory. “It was our first victory, so it felt good to get a Big Five win for all of us.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian