Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lightning Women’s Basketball Builds Early Lead, Coasts to 63-49 Victory

PIKE CREEK, Del. – Sophomore forward Irene Hudson led three Lightning scorers in double-figures as the Goldey-Beacom College women’s basketball team won its fourth straight game, 63-49 over division foe Chestnut Hill College on Sat. at the Jones Center.

With the win, GBC evened its overall record at 4-4 while improving to 3-0 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference heading into a showdown Thurs. night against the South Division favorite and winners of 105 straight conference regular season games, Holy Family. Chesnut Hill fell to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in league play.

Hudson was 7-for-11 from the field and led all scorers with 16 points while redshirt-junior guard Jacinda Jones and senior guard Janae Weldon scored 13 and 12, respectively and combined for 10 assists.

Senior forward Arielle Alford pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds and had two steals and one block, defensively.

Leading CHC offensively was Lindsay Alexander with 12 points and seven rebounds. She also pitched in a game-high three steals.

The game was marred by turnovers all afternoon as the division foes combined for 48 turnovers, 25 of which were made by Goldey-Beacom. Still, the Lightning converted CHC’s 23 turnovers into 23 points while the Griffins turned GBC’s miscues into only eight points. Also, the Lightning did a much better job distributing the ball as they had 15 assists to the Griffins’ five. Thus far, they average 13.8 assists per-game, which is nearly four assists better than their team average last season.

GBC also outshot CHC 39 percent to 30.5 percent and out-rebounded the Griffins 49-38. The Lightning won the battle in the paint as well, scoring 26 points inside compared to the CHC’s 16.

The Griffins’ Jessica Pruiti (nine points, four rebounds) opened the scoring on the first possession of the game, but the Lightning came right back down the floor and answered with a Jones three. This marked the second straight game Jones scored GBC’s first points of the game on a three-point shot. She also came out of the gate on fire at Philadelphia U., making three of her first four three-point attempts to help the Lightning grab an early lead in that game.

CHC’s Cecelia Herald (seven points, eight rebounds) made 1-of-2 during a trip to the foul line, and then both teams went scoreless for nearly the next three minutes. At the 16:15 mark, Pruiti earned a trip to the line and also made just 1-of-2, but it put the Griffins back in front 4-3. Chestnut Hill shot just 6-of-12 (50 percent) from the stripe in the first half and a poor 9-of-20 (45 percent) for the game.

Hudson, who had just subbed into the game a minute prior, was fouled inside and was awarded two free-throws. A perfect 4-for-4 from the line her last time out, Hudson confidently sank both shots to put GBC ahead to stay at the 15:32 mark, 5-4.

Those two free-throws began a 21-2 Lightning surge over the next 5:48, capped by a Weldon three-pointer that gave GBC a 24-6 lead. The Lightning went on to take a demanding 35-18 lead into halftime, as they held their opponent under 20 at the half for the second consecutive game. They held CHC to a miserable 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) shooting performance and dominated 29-16 on the boards.

However, Chestnut Hill did not go away without a fight in the second half as the Griffins outscored GBC 31-28 in the frame and cut the deficit to as low as four midway through the period.

Trailing 47-31 at the 13:00 mark, Pruiti made two consecutive three-point field goals to lead a 9-0 Griffins charge that, with two made free-throws by Herald, brought CHC within four, 47-43, nearing the nine-and-a-half minute mark.

As they had done all day long, the Lightning responded by feeding Hudson inside, and the quick-footed Hudson came through with a layup to up the lead back to six. But right back came the Griffins as Herald answered with a layup to cut the lead back to four.

Jones then came through for Goldey-Beacom with a three-point dagger at the 8:40 mark to up the lead back to seven, and that ignited a 12-0 Lightning run which gave GBC a 61-45 lead with about two-and-a-half minutes to play. Chestnut Hill never challenged from that point on, and the Lightning went on to win by a final score of 63-49.

The Lightning look to stay unbeaten in conference play and take down the pre-season CACC South Division favorite, Holy Family University in their next game on Thurs. night at the Jones Center at 6 p.m.    

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