Saint Joseph’s Downs Duquesne 77 – 62

The Hawks Had 3 Players in High Double Figures in Win on Hawk Hill

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/13/2024 –

The Hawks started slowly falling behind the Duquesne Dukes, but got it turned around for a 77 – 62 victory to improve to 4 – 1 in the Atlantic 10, and their 15 – 2 start is the best record in 17 games under Coach Cindy Griffin. The Hawks were led by Laura Ziegler with a career-high 25 points. Key contributions came from Talya Brugler who added 23 points, and Mackenzie Smith with 18 points.

“Two really good teams going at it Atlantic 10 style,” said Griffin. “They came out really hot, we had to come from behind in the first quarter. We had the opportunity to make some shots and get some movement in our offense. I think that really changed the flow of the game. Very proud of our players for staying true to what we were trying to do which was move the ball and share the ball.”

Start of the Second Half for Saint Joseph’s

Leading 39 – 36 at halftime the Hawks stormed out in the third quarter with a 12- 0 run all three’s scored by the big three. Smith had two three-pointers, Ziegler with one from distance and a traditional three-point play by Brugler to swell the lead to 51 – 36. The run allowed St. Joe’s to take control of the game, something they wanted to accomplish.

“Coming out hard at halftime is important for us,” said Smith. “We didn’t start the first quarter like we wanted to and in previous times, like our last game, we didn’t start the third quarter like we wanted to. That was really emphasized at the last two practices.”

Still, Duquesne did not go away. The Dukes chipped away at the lead and got to within 64 – 58 with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter on a three by guard Tess Myers. The Hawks allowed the Dukes only 4 more points the rest of the way. A three-pointer by guard Chloe Welch put the game away at the 2:25 mark for a 73 – 62 lead. It was a matter of staying with the plan.

“They did a good job, but we just stayed true to what we knew we could do,” Ziegler said. “And we executed really well.”

What the Numbers Say

The Hawks had the inside game going and ended with a 40 – 28 edge in points in the paint. The team got the ball inside to their advantage. What made it effective?

“Just the passing and getting in position early and trying to keep that,” Ziegler said. “We knew going in we had a good advantage in the paint and were going to try and get some easy looks. We can do all of our work all we want on the inside, but somebody needs to give us the ball. They did a tremendous job of passing the ball.”

Saint Joseph’s assisted 21 times on 31 baskets, and shot a season-best 54.4% (31 of 57 shots).

In addition to scoring Ziegler took down a game-high 10 rebounds to record her 6th double-double of the season. She made 11 of 13 from the field and was perfect on all three three-point shots. Brugler contributed 7 rebounds and tied her career-high handing out 6 assists, while blocking 3 shots. Smith sank 6 of 8 from the floor and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The three players made 27 of 40 shots and 6 of 11 from deep. That type of balance was a key factor.

“It’s really tough to guard all five of us, we’re a very balanced team, even our players coming off the bench,” Smith said. “We’re always a threat. You have to guard us from all spots. To have the balanced scoring makes everyone play you honest.”

The Hawks turned the ball over 7 times which represents a season-low.

Amaya Hamilton led the Dukes with a team-high 18 points. Myers got 11 points and led the team with 4 assists. Megan Mc Connell grabbed 6 caroms.

Up Next

It is a quick turnaround for Saint Joseph’s (15 – 2, 4 – 1) as La Salle comes to Hawk Hill on Monday. They are familiar foes.

“We know it will be a typical Big Five game,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t matter what your record is. Everybody is going to bring their best.”

But the Hawks have a goal. A win and they will take the Big Five title outright.

“It is something we know,” Ziegler said. “It’s been a long time since our last Big Five game. We’ve been waiting a little bit for this one. Finish the job. We want to get that Big Five title this year. We’ve had it in the back of our heads, and we’re ready to go on Monday.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Laura Ziegler Who Scored a Career-high 25 Points

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