Saint Joseph’s Wins Over Wright State Behind a Record Day by Talya Brugler
PHILADELPHIA, PA 12/20/2022 –
For the 27th time the Saint Joseph’s Hawks have the Hawk Classic. A four-team tournament of four games over the holidays. This year Saint Joseph’s hosts Wright State, Eastern Michigan and James Madison. St. Joe’s plays Wright State in game one. The winners meet the next day in game four while the defeated teams play in the first game of the doubleheader. And it will be Saint Joseph’s who will play in game four beating a scrappy Wright State Raiders team (1 – 10) 70 – 62 at the Hagan Arena.
It was a record setting day for Hawks forward Talya Brugler who scored a career-high 27 points in the game. She made 10 of 18 field goal attempts, with 10 being a career-best in made baskets. Brugler converted 7 of 8 free throws tying a collegiate-best.
“It was a fun game,” said Brugler. “We knew they were undersized from a post standpoint and my teammates were doing a good job finding me in open areas. I’m thankful for them finding me where I was open.”
Saint Joseph’s Owned the Inside
St. Joe’s wanted the game to be played close to the basket. Wright State wanted to take that away. The Hawks were more successful as fellow forward Mackenzie Smith added 21 points. She was fouled 9 times and converted 9 of 10 free throws which tied a career-mark. Combined the forwards scored 48 of the SJU points making 16 of 18 free throws. Until the last 30 seconds Brugler and Smith were the only Hawks players to go to the line and sank 15 of 16 from the charity stripe to that point in time.
“We were moving well off the ball and setting our screens well to open ourselves and our teammates,” Brugler said about how they were successful underneath.
Wright State Sayed Around
St. Joe’s gave up the first four points, but once they took the lead, the Hawks did not give it up. Still, Wright State stayed in contention. The Raiders pulled to within 64 – 59 with just over two minutes on the clock. The game was similar to that, but St. Joe’s had enough to close it out.
“That’s a growth moment for us,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “We’ve been in that situation before. At the end of the day we executed what we wanted down the stretch and got stops when we needed to get stops. That’s the mental toughness of this team. I’m proud of them.”
This was the first game in 10 days for SJU. The team responded well enough without too much rust in a tough situation.
“It’s always a concern,” Griffin said. “You don’t want it to be sloppy. You miss being in game shape sometimes. You practice, but it’s different when you’re out there is a game situation. We had some turnovers early. It was still manageable when you have 21 assists on 24 field goals. That’s pretty awesome.”
Numbers for Mullins
Adding to the victory and setting personal records is guard Olivia Mullins who scored a career-high tying 11 points, and tied her best in assists with 6. Mullins did set a personal best with 9 rebounds.
Next Up, Another Challenge
Saint Joseph’s faces JMU tomorrow. The new task facing the team is playing back-to-back games. The Hawks feel ready.
“We’re pretty prepared,” said Brugler. “We have to flip the switch and bounce back pretty quick and stay locked in for the next twenty-four hours.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian