PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/17/2013 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks women’s basketball team defeated the Temple Owls in overtime 49 – 41 in overtime. By winning the Hawks stopped a 13-game losing streak to the Owls. Saint Joe’s came close many times over the streak. This time the Hawks got it done, but as usual, it was not easy. The game was played at a Temple pace, tough, physical, defense oriented. Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin credited her team with keeping their focus as the difference.
“It’s always going to be a grind-out with Temple,” said Griffin. “We just needed a break here or there, and we got it. And we got stops at the other end. The margin of error is small in these types of games. The team who made the least mistakes was going to win it, and we made less mistakes.”
The final score was not indicative of how close of a game this was as both teams battled it out. The Owls led 19 – 18 at halftime. The Hawks took a 24 – 23 lead at the 16:12 mark on a layup by senior Chatilla van Grinsven. That started a streak of six lead changes of a one-point lead for each team. Saint Joseph’s sophomore Natasha Cloud hit a jump shot with 13:49 remaining in regulation. That started a run for the Hawks that put them in front 33 – 27 with 11:37 on the clock. Temple erased that lead and the game became a one-point see-saw again. Hawk junior forward Ashley Robinson dropped in a layup at the 2:09 mark to give her team a 39 – 38 lead. The teams traded misses and turnovers down the stretch, and set up a thrilling end of regulation.
With 18 seconds remaining Temple sophomore guard Tyonna Williams stole a pass by Saint Joseph’s junior guard Erin Shields, and then was fouled by Cloud trying to get to the basket. Williams made the first free throw to tie the game at 39, but missed the second.
In overtime the Owls went in front 41 – 39 on a jump shot by senior Victoria Macaulay. Cloud tied the game with a jumper of her own. Shields put the Hawks in front with a layup with 3:17 to play. On the critical next trip van Grinsven made a steal and layup to give Saint Joseph’s a 45 – 41 lead with 2:11 to play.
“I took a chance at the right time,” said van Grinsven. “I saw she was going to pass the ball, and I took a leap of faith and went for it. There it was. I made the layup and it gave us a little more comfort.”
Saint Joe’s got two free throws by Robinson, and senior guard Ashley Prim ended the scoring with a fast break layup with 1:11 on the clock. The Hawks survived, and the streak ended.
“Once we got into overtime I felt like we started to panic a little bit when they took the lead,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We took some rushed shots, some unnecessary shots, and allowed it to get away from us.”
Temple had the pace they wanted, holding Saint Joseph’s to 48 points, a team that averages 69. The Owls did a lot right. It was disappointing not to get the win.
“They (Saint Joseph’s) are the type of team that likes to get out and run,” Cardoza said. “We wanted to play our style of basketball. If we play good defense we’ll give ourselves a chance. We definitely did. Not being able to score did not help us much, but even without that we still had a chance to win the basketball game.”
Prim and Cloud led Saint Joseph’s withy 13 points each. It was the 11th double-double of the season for van Grinsven with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Junior forward Natasha Thames registered a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Rateska Brown scored 10 points, and Macaulay took down a game-high 14 rebounds.
The offense on both sides did not get in high gear. The victorious Hawks made 20 of 68 attempts from the field (29.4%) and made one of eight from beyond the arc. The Owls were 15 of 58 (25.9%), and made 3 of 15 from distance.
Temple is 12 – 13 on the season, 5 – 5 in the Atlantic 10, and finish 1 – 3 in the Big Five.
Saint Joseph’s improves to 18 – 6 overall. The Hawks are 9 – 1 in conference starting the game tied for second in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks are 2 – 1 in Big Five play. They will play LaSalle on Wednesday. A win keeps them near the top in conference, and gives them second place in the Big Five. For now Saint Joe’s can finally savor a win over Temple.
“I haven’t beaten Temple since I’ve been here,” Prim said. “It’s a good way to go out, and I am proud of my team.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian