PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/17/2015 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks had their best shooting percentage game this year, but they also committed a season-high twenty turnovers. The miscues turned out to be the difference as Saint Joseph’s lost to the Iona Gaels 81 – 75 at the Hagan Arena.
“We were not as prepared as we need to be for the pressure they put on us,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin.
The game was close throughout with neither team being able to get a big-enough lead. The Hawks held a 62 – 61 lead with 4:14 to play. SJU committed 5 of their 20 turnovers from that point which translated into a 75 – 69 Iona advantage with 18 ticks of the clock left.
“The momentum shifted and we got silly with the ball, and it was a disappointment,” Griffin said.
Iona owned a 27 – 17 advantage in points off turnovers despite having 18 mishandles.
The pace of the game was quick which contributed to the defeat. As fast as it was meant that the Hawks would have to win it on offense, and they did shoot 48.9% (22 of 45). But Saint Joe’s did give up 81 points, a season-high, which was too much. Griffin felt Iona made the Hawks play faster than they wanted to.
“We have not been successful at that pace,” said Griffin. “I want them to play aggressive, but not at the expense of turning the ball over.”
Sarah Fairbanks led Saint Joseph’s with 19 points. She made 4 of 7 from the floor and converted 11 of 12 free throws. Amanda Fioravanti scored a season-high 18 points. Chelsea Woods pulled down 10 rebounds. Kathleen Fitzpatrick added 12 points and had a team-high 2 made three-pointers.
Iona guard Marina Lizarazu scored 25 points, a career-mark, making 7 of 10 field goal attempts. She converted 10 of 13 from the charity stripe, 6 of 8 in the last 41 seconds, and dished a game-high 4 assists. Lizarazu had 3 steals. Forward Joy Adams added 23 points and 9 rebounds. Aaliyah Adams contributed 12 points.
This game was the annual Fieldtrip to the Fieldhouse event with an 11:30 a.m. start time where many local school children attended creating a large and energetic crowd.
It will not get any easier for the 4 – 5 Hawks as they will host nationally ranked Notre Dame on Monday. The Irish are coached by Saint Joe’s graduate Muffet McGraw.
“They are a terrific team with a great coach,” said Griffin. “Muffet went to Saint Joe’s and we’re very proud of what she has done. They have offensive punch. Going into that game after giving up 81 points today, we have to do a better job of not doing that on Monday.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian