PHILADELPHIA - Leading for a majority of the game, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team downed Drexel, 70-52, Wednesday evening at Hagan Arena. The Hawks shot 54.2 percent and got a career-high 21 points from sophomore forward Sarah Fairbanks as they improved to 3-1 on the season.
After a back-and-forth opening seven minutes, Saint Joseph's found itself down by one, 13-12, to the Dragons. From there though, the Hawks took control of the game, using an 11-0 run to open a 23-13 advantage on a pair of free throws by Jessica Pongonis at 9:41.
Saint Joseph's lead would swell to as many as 15 before entering halftime ahead 37-26. The Hawks, who led for just the second time this year at the half, shot 57.7 percent from the floor in the opening stanza (15-of-26) as Fairbanks scored 13 of the team's first 17 points.
In the second half, the Hawks would continue to hold Drexel (2-2) at a double-digit distance, never allowing the Dragons to come closer than 10 points, while SJU opened its lead to as many as 19 three times in the final five minutes.
For the game, the Hawks shot a season-best 54.2 percent, going 26-of-48 from the floor, while hitting 16-of-17 from the foul line (94.1 percent).
Individually, Fairbanks was 9-of-12 from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line, while adding six rebounds and an assist. Junior guard Natasha Cloud was the only other Hawk in double figures, tallying 13 points and adding two steals, three assists and and three rebounds.
At the other end, Drexel was held to 37.3 percent overall (19-of-51), while hitting just 3-of-12 from three-points range and 11-of-17 from the foul line (64.7 percent). Sarah Curran led the Dragons with a team-best 12 points and seven rebounds.
Saint Joseph's returns to action this Saturday when it host liberty at 2 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Erin Shields and Ilze gotfrida each had eight points in starting roles...Kelsey Berger finished with six points and six rebounds...Ciara Andrews added seven points and an assists...Pongonis finished with seven points, three rebounds, an assists and a steal...Freshman Lisanne de Jonge played 13 minutes...Rookie Geena Gomez played two minutes...Freshman Kathleen Fitzpatrick grabbed a rebound off the bench.