ROME, Italy - The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team opened its international competition in Italy with a hard-fought loss to the veteran club team of TK Hannover, 43-33. Junior Sarah Veilleux led the Hawks with nine points as all 13 dressed SJU players earned playing time in the first of their three international games.

Battling back from an early 9-4 deficit, Saint Joseph's closed out the first quarter on a 6-0 run as a layup by Amanda Fioravanti gave her team its first lead, 10-9.

A basket by Veilleux and a free throw from newcomer Lula Roig pushed the Hawks' lead to 13-9 early in the second quarter. But TK Hannover responded to regain the lead, 24-17 at the half, despite a basket from rookie Mary Sheehan and the strong play of the Hawks' bench.

Veilleux and Roig combined for seven of the Hawks' nine points in the third to bring SJU to within 33-27 entering the final 10 minutes.

In a defensive battle, SJU kept it close in the final minutes with points from Fioravanti, Sheehan and Kristalyn Baisden. However, it wasn't enough as TK Hannover was able to hang on for the win.

Individually for SJU, Fioravanti added eight points, while Roig finished with six. Sheehan added four points, with Baisden and Chelsea Woods each chipping in two points apiece. Adashia Franklyn and Alyssa Monaghan rounded out the scoring for the Hawks with a point apiece.