Saint Joseph’s women upset No. 5 Maryland 50-49Saturday, Nov 17, 2012
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Saint Joseph’s had lost 10 straight against ranked teams and hadn’t defeated a top-five opponent in nearly 36 years.
The Hawks changed all that Saturday, stunning No. 5 Maryland 50-49 behind Chatilla van Grinsven’s 18 points.
Saint Joseph’s (2-1) beat a ranked foe for the first time since a victory over No. 15 Auburn on Dec. 29, 2007. The Terrapins are the highest-ranked team the Hawks have defeated since upsetting No. 3 Montclair State way back on March 11, 1977.
“This win means so much,” van Grinsven said. “We’ve been so close so much, and to come through is a great feeling. We’re celebrating this win. We played as hard as we could and made some plays at the end.”
Saint Joseph’s had dropped 10 straight games to the Terrapins before this one but held Maryland scoreless over the final seven minutes.
Alyssa Thomas had 16 points and 15 rebounds while Laurin Mincy added 14 points for the Terrapins (2-1), who opened the season with a 39-point victory over Mount St. Mary’s and a 43-point win over Loyola.
“This has been a great week for this program,” said Saint Joseph’s coach Cindy Griffin, whose team defeated Drexel on a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer Wednesday. “I think we’re not perfect, but we’re finding ways to win. I think we’re tough. I think our players are tough.”
Maryland, a regional finalist in last season’s NCAA tournament, couldn’t shake the Hawks, even after building a 47-38 lead with 9:10 remaining.
“I thought St. Joe’s had a terrific game plan and made us work for everything,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “They made it difficult for us to get into our offense.”
Saint Joseph’s went on a 12-2 run to take a 50-49 lead with 4:21 left. The Terrapins committed five of their 19 turnovers during the spurt.
Thomas hit a jumper for a 49-44 lead with seven minutes remaining, but that was all the offense the Terrapins would muster the rest of the game.
Still, Maryland had three chances to win in the final 19 seconds.
Katie Rutan missed a jumper and Thomas had her follow shot blocked by van Grinsven.
The Terrapins had one last chance with less than a second left, but Tianna Hawkins misfired from the baseline and the Saint Joseph’s bench erupted in celebration.
“This win is the result of our hard work and preparing,” van Grinsven said. “It’s a great day for our program here.”
Erin Shields added 10 points for the Hawks, who won despite being outrebounded 47-27. Thomas had nine offensive rebounds.
Neither team hit a 3-pointer in the second half. Hawkins managed just two points after scoring 51 in the first two games.
“Obviously, we have a thin margin for error,” Frese said. “Obviously, we’ve got to come ready to play. This will absolutely humble us.”