Women's Basketball Drops Hard-Fought Game At #17 UCLA, 73-65
Dec. 31, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Cutting a 12-point deficit to just one, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team couldn't complete the comeback as the Hawks fell at #17/18 UCLA, 73-65, Monday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion.
Spearheaded by junior guard Erin Shields' career-high 24 points, Saint Joseph's (8-5) fought back from a 48-36 hole to make it a one-point. After cutting the Bruins' lead to 60-54, the Hawks got a three-pointer from Shields and a steal and layup from redshirt sophomore Natasha Cloud to make it a 60-59 game with 5:57 to go.
Both teams would exchange a free throw as Saint Joseph's trailed just 61-60 off a free throw by freshman center Sarah Fairbanks at 4:07.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, UCLA (9-2) scored nine of the next 11 points to open a 70-62 lead on a pair of free throws by Thea Lemberger with 1:06 to go. A Shields' jumper cut the deficit to six, but the Bruins sealed the game from the foul line, hitting 3-of-4 in the final 36 seconds to preserve the win
In a tight first half, the host Bruins took the lead from the start before opening up a small gap midway through the stanza. Holding a two point edge, 18-16, UCLA took advantage of a pair of Saint Joseph's turnovers to open a 25-18 advantage. The Bruins' Nirra Fields started the 7-0 run with a three-pointer at 9:08 and capped it with a layup at 8:22.
Down by seven, the Hawks answered back with seven straight points as a layup by Cloud brought SJU to within 25-23 at 6:56.
Both teams would exchange baskets over the remainder of the half as the Bruins took a 36-32 lead into halftime. UCLA, which shot 10-of-18 from the floor to start, was held to just 3-of-13 over the final eight minutes of the half, while SJU knocked down 5-of-9 from the floor over that period.
For the game, the Hawks shot 36.5 percent from the field (23-of-63), including 6-of-20 from three-point range and 13-of-17 from the foul line (76.5 percent). At the other end, UCLA shot 42.3 percent (22-of-52) overall, hitting 5-of-11 from behind the arc (45.5 percent) and 24-of-32 from the foul line.
Individually, Shields hit on 9-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point range, and added three rebounds, a steal, an assist and a blocked shot. Cloud added 10 points to go with a team-high five assists while junior Ashley Robinson finished with 11 points and team-best seven rebounds.
Lemberger led three Bruins in double figures with 20 points.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, January 5 at Penn. Game time is set for 2 p.m.