The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team earned its third straight win as the Hawks held off a fourth quarter rally by Massachusetts to earn a 55-54 victory Wednesday night at Hagan Arena.

Ahead by as many as 18 in the third quarter, the Hawks saw their lead cut to one, 50-49, on a pair of free throws by the Minutewomen's Jessica George with 1:16 to play.

SJU senior Alyssa Monaghan was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to three, but Massachusetts' Bre Hampton-Bey answered with a layup.

Moving the ball around the perimeter out of a timeout, redshirt freshman Katie Jekot drilled a contested three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Hawks a 55-51 lead with :09.6 to go.

Massachusetts would add a late basket, but only as the final horn sounded, as Saint Joseph's improved to 9-15 overall and 5-6 in the Atlantic 10.

Saint Joseph's opened the game with a strong showing at both ends as it went 5-10 from the field on offense and held Massachusetts to 0-10 with four turnovers as it ran out to a 10-0 lead.

Leading 30-18 entering the third quarter, the Hawks began to put room between themselves and the Minutewomen as a three-pointer by Kristalyn Baisden made it 47-29 late in the period.

Unfortunately the fourth quarter saw SJU go cold from the field, missing it's first nine shots before Jekot's three-pointer helped secure the win.

For the game, the Hawks shot 35.8 percent from the field (19-53), 43.5 percent from three-point range (10-23) and 58.3 percent from the foul line (7-12). 

Individually, Monaghan led all players with a game-high 20 points, while Jekot posted a game-high five assists to go with eight points and three steals.

At the other end, Massachusetts (13-12, 5-6 A-10) shot 34.5 percent overall (20-58), 21.4 percent from behind the arc (3-14) and 68.8 percent from the foul line (68.8 percent). Destiney Philoxy led three Minutewomen in double figures with 15 points.

The Hawks face La Salle for the second time this season as they travel to Tom Gola Arena on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip with the Explorers.

Game Notes: The Hawks improved to 50-10 all-time versus Massachusetts...The 50 wins over the Minutewomen are the second-most against any opponent, trailing over SJU's 55 versus Rhode Island...Katie Mayock added seven points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots...Kristalyn Baisden and Lula Roig each scored six points...Whisper Fisher grabbed six rebounds, added six points and had two blocked shots...Mary Sheehan scored two points...Nailah Delinois played two minutes.

Follow the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team on Instagram and Twitter and like the Hawks on Facebook.

Receive all of the latest news and info on SJU women's basketball with Hawk E-News – SIGN UP

RELATED