PHILADELPHIA – Behind a total team effort, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team topped UMBC, 79-38, for the 2012 Hawk Classic championship Saturday afternoon at Hagan Arena. Led by Hawk Classic MVP Erin Shields' (Drexel Hill, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) 14 points and nine assists, all 12 SJU players scored a basket as the Hawks improved to 8-4 on the year.
Taking control from the tip, the Hawks jumped out to a 10-0 lead, hitting 3-of-4 from the field and a pair of free throws, while the Retrievers went 0-for-4 and turned the ball over once in their first five possessions.
Leading 19-5, Saint Joseph's continued to pull away from UMBC (4-9), putting together a 12-2 run that gave the Hawks a 31-7 advantage on a steal and layup by junior Kasie Parker (Oviedo, Fla./Lake Howell) at 7:10.
Saint Joseph's, which led by as many as 28 in the first half, took a 44-18 lead into halftime as it shot 46.9 percent from the field (15-of-32), while holding UMBC to just 28 percent (7-of-25)
In the second half, the Hawks were in full control, opening their lead to as many as 47 as they allowed UMBC to get no closer than halftime deficit.
For the game, the Hawks hit 46.7 percent from the floor (28-of-60), including 9-of-24 from three-point range (37.5 percent) and 14-of-22 from the foul line (63.6 percent). Saint Joseph's defense held the Retrievers to 27.6 percent shooting (16-of-58), including 1-of-19 from behind the arc (5.3 percent).
Individually, redshirt sophomore guard Natasha Cloud (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and redshirt senior forward Chatilla van Grinsven (Helmond, Netherlands/Dr. Knippenberg College) were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Cloud ended the day with 10 points, three assists and three steals, while van Grinsven had a game-high 14 rebounds to go with six points.
Also named to the All-Tournament Team were UMBC's Brittany Crowell, Fairfield's Alexys Vazquez and Wagner's Laura Amarosa.
Saint Joseph's returns to action this Monday, December 31 at UCLA. Game time is set for 4 p.m. EST.