PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team capped nonconference play with a 61-54 victory over CSUN in the consolation game of the 22nd Hawk Classic on Monday afternoon at Hagan Arena.
Down five early into the second half, Saint Joseph's used a 15-3 run to open up a 44-37 advantage as senior guard Natasha Cloud found sophomore Kathleen Fitzpatrick for a three-pointer with 12:02 to play to cap the run.
The Matadors (9-4) responded with a pair of three-pointers to make it a one-point game, but the Hawks responded. Behind six points from junior Ciara Andrews and a free throw from rookie Chelsea Woods, Saint Joseph's pushed the lead to eight, 51-43, on Andrews' two free throws at 6:17.
CSUN continued to fight back though, cutting SJU's lead to three, 51-48, but the Hawks again had an answer. Cloud nailed a pair of free throws, then found Fitzpatrick open for her fourth three-pointer of the game to open a 56-48 gap at 3:22.
Saint Joseph's (4-8) would not allow the Matadors to get closer than six from their as the Hawks sealed the win from the line, going 5-6 in the final minutes.
In a back-and-forth first half, the game featured 10 ties and seven lead changes as CSUN scored the final basket of the half to take a 31-29 edge into the second stanza.
As a team, Saint Joseph's hit 19-55 from the field (34.5 percent), 5-12 from three-point range (41.7 percent) and 18-23 from the foul line (78.3 percent). The Hawks, who were outrebounded 44-34, outscored the Matadors 13-12 in second chance points and turned 20 CSUN turnovers into 25 points.
Individually, Fitzpatrick led all scorers with 20 points and added two steals and two assists. Cloud added 11 points and eight assists, while junior Sarah Fairbanks was the third Hawk in double figures, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
At the other end, CSUN was held to just 20-63 from the field (31.7 percent), 8-27 from behind the card (29.6 percent) and 6-7 from the foul line (85.7 percent). Ashlee Guay was the only Matador in double figures, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Saint Joseph's opens Atlantic 10 play this Saturday when it hosts VCU at 7 p.m.