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Saint Joseph's Women's Basketball Opens Big 5 Play With Win at Penn, 60-45

Saint Joseph's Women's Basketball Opens Big 5 Play With Win at Penn, 60-45 PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team capped a seven-game road swing with a 60-45 victory over Penn in the Hawks’ Big 5 opener Tuesday at The Palestra. The Hawks, who improved to 5-3 on the year and 4-3 away from Hagan Arena, got 39 combined points from its junior class to move to 1-0 in the Big 5. Hitting 15-of-25 from the field in the first half (60 percent), the Hawks quickly opened a double-digit lead over the Quakers. Leading 12-9, Saint Joseph’s scored 12-straight points over a five-minute span as a layup by freshman forward Ilze Gotfrida (Dobele, Latvia/Rigas Secondary School No. 49) put the Hawks up 24-9 with 6:40 to go in the half. Penn (2-5) answered with an 8-0 run to make it 24-17, but the Hawks ended the half with an 11-4 run to take a 35-21 lead into the second stanza. The Hawks upped their lead to as many as 17 to start the second half, but the Quakers chipped away, making it a 42-35 game on a pair of free throws by Jess Knapp with 12:32 to go. Saint Joseph’s regained momentum, using an 8-2 run to reopen a double-digit lead, 50-37, at 7:38. The Hawks would allow Penn to get no closer than 10 points from there. As a team, Saint Joseph’s finished 24-of-49 from the field (49 percent), hit 5-of-14 from three-point range (35.7 percent) and knocked down 7-of-8 from the foul line. Individually, junior guard Michelle Baker (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) led the way for SJU with 12 points and seven assists, while classmate Katie Kuester (Media, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame de Namur) added 11 points. Junior forward Kelly Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Westhampton Beach) finished with a team-high five rebounds and three blocked shots to go with 10 points. Freshman guard Alyssa Baron led Penn with a game-high 16 points as the Quakers finished 15-of-49 for 30.6 percent. Saint Joseph’s returns home this Sunday as the Hawks host Villanova at 2 p.m. - SJU -