RICHMOND, Va. - Sarah Veilleux's three-pointer with :00.6 to go lifted sixth seed Saint Joseph's to a 52-49 victory over third seed Fordham on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship at the Richmond Coliseum.
With the win, the Hawks advance to face seventh seed Saint Louis in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with the game being televised on the CBS Sports Network.
In a similar situation to last Saturday's thrilling 52-50 victory over the Rams at Rose Hill Gym, the Hawks possession in the final seconds of a tied game. Knotted at 49, Saint Joseph's got the ball to senior Chelsea Woods on the left side of the floor and allowed her room to work the ball into the paint. Unlike last weekend when she sneaked in for the game-winning layup, Woods was double-teamed by the Rams and skipped a pass to Veilleux in the right corner. Catching and shooting in stride, Veilleux buried a three-pointer with :00.6 to go to give SJU a 52-49 lead.
"That was an absolute perfect pass," Veilleux said of Woods' pass. "I had struggled, obviously, the whole game, and it was an incredible pass and I felt it from the corner."
Following a referee's review of the clock, Fordham (22-9) heaved the ball on the inbounds only to have Woods snare it as the horn sounded.
In a defensive matchup, the Hawks (17-13) fell behind early as they struggled to connect from the floor. Shooting just 23.1 percent (3-of-13) in the first quarter, Saint Joseph's offensive troubles carried into the second as the Hawks found themselves down 20-6 with 5:54 to go in the period.
Sparked by a layup by graduate student Amanda Fioravanti, the Hawks entered halftime down just 24-16 despite shooting 26.7 percent from the field over the opening 20 minutes.
Taking momentum into the third quarter, Saint Joseph's battled back to take its first lead of the contest. Behind a 14-5 run to start the quarter, the Hawks took a 30-29 advantage on a pair of free throws by Fioravanti at the 4:33 mark.
Neither team would lead by more than four from there, with SJU holding a 49-47 lead with 18 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. With fouls to give, the Hawks attempted to use one on Bre Cavanaugh around midcourt, only for the referees rule that she made a shooting motion.
Awarded three free throws, Cavanaugh connected on just two, tying the game at 49-49 with 16 seconds remaining.
Out of the Hawks' final timeout, Woods able to find Veilleux for the team's lone three-pointer of the game and advance SJU to the semifinals of the A-10 Championship.
"We've been in a lot of close games, so we've been in these situations maybe a little too often, but it's paying off this time of year," said SJU head coach Cindy Griffin.
For the game, the Hawks shot 36.2 percent from the field (21-of-58), including 53.8 percent in the four quarter (7-of-13), and went just 1-of-9 from three-point range and 9-of-15 from the foul line.
Woods finished with a game-high 18 points to go with five rebounds and three assists, while Fioravanti tallied 13 points. Senior Adashia Franklyn was the third Hawk in double figures, scoring 12 points and grabbing a team-best eight rebounds.
At the other end, Fordham shot 34 percent from the floor (17-of-50), 41.2 percent from behind the arc (7-of-17) and hit 8-of-10 from the foul line. Cavanaugh led the Rams with 17 points, while G'mrice Davis added a game-high 18 rebounds to go with 13 points.
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