Freshman Claire Melia scored a game-high 23 points, leading the visiting Hawks past Columbia in their season opener and making for a collegiate debut to remember.
Melia, a 6-foot-3 forward who came to Saint Joe’s via Monasterevin, Ireland, shot 7-of-9 from the field, went a perfect 2-for-2 from three-point range and went 7-for-8 at the free-throw line. She also racked up four assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
“We won as a team, and now we move on to the next game,” Melia said postgame on Thursday. “I don’t care about the points. I just went out there and enjoyed myself.”
Junior guard Lula Roig added 13 points, sophomore guard Katie Jekot scored 11 and sophomore forward Katie Mayock had 10 points. Mayock also pulled in seven rebounds, while freshman forward Gabby Smalls collected a game-high of nine.
The home opener is up next for the 1-0 Hawks. They’ll face Big-5 rival Temple Monday at Hagan Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.