College of St. Joseph's women's basketball team wound up on the losing end of two close contests over the weekend. The Saints lost 73-67 to Green Mountain College (GMC) on Saturday, Dec. 1 and 71-66 to Vermont Technical College (VTC) on Sunday, Dec. 2. Both games were close to the final minutes of play.
On Saturday, the Eagles edged CSJ 18-13 in the first quarter. The Saints responded by scoring 17 second-quarter points while limiting GMC to nine points for a 30-27 CSJ lead at halftime.
CSJ struggled offensively in the third quarter, converting just five of 21 shots from the field (23.8 percent). The Eagles shot 11-for-18 from the field (61 percent) to win the quarter 26-15.
The final frame saw Daija Black and GMC's Mercedes Rideout score eight points apiece. GMC led 53-45 before Sharena Armstrong scored a layup and extended her team's lead to 10. Sabrena Eye made a jumper to bring CSJ back within eight points of the Eagles with eight minutes to play.
The Saints then scored six straight points thanks to baskets by Black and Madison Akins, making the contest a two-point game, 55-53. Rideout answered with a 3-pointer and Artmstrong got a fast break layup to cushion the Eagles' lead to 60-53 with four minutes remaining.
A layup by Akins with 1:45 to play and brought the game back within four, 64-60, before GMC went on a 5-2 run to make the game 69-62. White made a second consecutive jump shot for the Saints by way of a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the game. Black the cut CSJ's deficit to two, 69-67, with a layup.
With little time left on the clock, CSJ was forced to foul to stop the clock and GMC made good on enough free throws to take the 73-67 victory. Akins had six points in the fourth quarter, including 4-for-4 from the foul line, and LaShaunte recorded five points.
Armstrong recorded a game-high 27 points and had 10 rebounds and five steals for the Eagles. Rideout had 16 points and Riley Lane scored 14 points off the bench for GMC.
Black finished with a team-high 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds for CSJ. Akins had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. NaKeeya Goodman-Boddie recorded eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Rachel Brunell scored 11 points off the bench, including a 5-for-6 performance from the foul line.
On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Saints outscored Vermont Tech in the third (19-11) and fourth (24-18) quarters, and locked even at 17 in the second, but could not come out with the victory after losing the first quarter 25-6.
All five of the Knights' starters scored in double figures, led by Jordanna Morris' game-high 21 points. She also recorded 14 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Gabrielle Norwood had 17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals for VTC.
Bruneel led CSJ with 16 points, seven rebounds. She was 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Black recorded a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds. Akins had nine assists, eight points and seven rebounds and Crisalida Chaplin had nine points, nine rebounds and three steals.
The Fighting Saints play next when they host Word of Life on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 5pm.