February 28, 2021 –
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks concluded their regular season with a 60 – 52 win over the Duquesne Dukes on Senior Day at the Hagan Arena. The Hawks will enter the postseason on a two-game winning streak, feeling good to go into the tournament on a positive note.
“These two games were important and being home was a big deal,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “We knew we had to get these two games to give us momentum going into the tournament.”
The Hawks are building momentum. This victory followed a come from behind win against St. Bonaventure. This was a game that had both teams going back and forth, scoring the ball, and went to halftime tied at 32. Then Saint Joe’s would hold Duquesne scoreless for the entire third quarter. The Hawks got 9 points, but were playing from ahead.
“I thought the second half really set the tone,” said Griffin. “We were going back and forth the first two quarters, tied at the half, then holding them to zero points in the third quarter, that was impressive. We executed when we needed to and got stops when we needed to.”
In the fourth quarter Saint Joseph’s extended their lead to 51 – 37 on a Kaliah Henderson jumper with 5:12 to play. The Dukes would make a run getting to within 55 – 50 with 1:15 on the clock. Henderson scored with just under a minute left. The basket gave her a team-high 16 points. The Dukes got it back on two free throws by Diamond Bragg, who scored a game-high tying 16 and 7 rebounds.
The clock wound down, then Hawks forward Katie Mayock would ice the game on a layup as the clock showed 23 seconds and the scoreboard at 57 – 52. The Hawks survived the run.
Henderson made 7 of 15 from the floor and grabbed a game-high tying 7 rebounds.
“Kaliah came up with some really key baskets,” Griffin said. “She struggled a little bit early when she got in just to get her feet underneath her, then she came through and made some tough and big baskets for us, and got into a rhythm. She came through in the stretch, that’s for sure.”
Katie Jekot added 13 points for the Hawks sinking 6 of her 12 shots, one from beyond the arc, and handed out 4 assists. Lula Roig scored 9 points, 5 of 6 at the free throw line, and she took down 6 rebounds. Gabby Smalls had 7 caroms and Mayock 6. Saint Joseph’s outrebounded Duquesne by a 44 – 32 margin.
Saint Joseph’s finishes the regular season with a 7 – 9 record and are 5 – 9 in the Atlantic 10. Final seedings are still to be determined, but the Hawks are in position to get the 10th seed and start with a second round game. Saint Joseph’s is tied with George Washington. The Hawks have a win over the Colonials.
“The big challenge is this layoff that we have,” said Griffin. “We decided not to pick up another game so that we can heal a little bit from some injuries and work on some things so we can put a push in for the tournament.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian