College of St. Joseph's women's basketball team started the New Year in dramatic fashion with a 67-65 victory over SUNY Delhi (8-5) on Saturday, Jan. 5. Jayla Latham gathered an offensive rebound with two seconds remaining in the game and scored a layup to give CSJ (4-10) the victory. Four players scored double figures for the Fighting Saints.
The Fighting Saints came out firing on all cylinders, shooting 42.3 percent from the field (11-for-26) in the first quarter, to build a 26-9 lead going into the second frame. NaKeeya Goodman-Boddie made two 3-pointers and a jump shot for eight points in the first quarter and Rachel Bruneel added seven points. SUNY Delhi shot 2-for-16 from the field in the quarter, 0-4 from three and 5-for-6 from the foul line.
The Broncos began to warm up in the second frame. They outscored the Saints 17-14 in the quarter to cut their deficit to 40-26 going into halftime. Sam Acuna had seven points in the quarter for Delhi and Bruneel led the Saints with five. Jayla Latham chipping in four points for CSJ and Denyke Nicholas hit a 3-pointer. The Saints held the Broncos' leading scorer, Samiaya Salley, to just four points in the first half.
Salley started to hit her shots after the halftime break. She shot 3-for-5 from three and 4-for-7 from the field for a 13-point third quarter. Kiera Holland chipped in six points for Delhi. CSJ received three points each from Daija Black, Madison Akins and Sabrena Eye in the quarter, as well as shots by Latham and Nicholas, but were outscored 21-13 in the third frame. Delhi crept closer to CSJ and trailed by just six points, 53-47, after three quarters of play.
Eye made a free throw to get the fourth-quarter scoring started, and a Delhi turnover resulted in a layup by Akins to push CSJ's lead to 56-47. Eye drew another foul and registered a free throw before Acuna hit five straight points for the Broncos, bring the score to 57-52 early in the fourth. Salley then hit her first 3-pointer of the quarter to bring Delhi within two points of CSJ, 57-55. Two scoreless minutes went by before Delhi's Kiera Holland scored a game-tying layup.
Seconds later, Bruneel hit a layup and was fouled in the process to earn a trip to the free throw line. Akins picked up an assist on the play. Bruneel converted the foul shot to complete the three-point play and put CSJ back in the lead, 60-57.
Salley immediately responded for Delhi, making her second 3-pointer of the quarter and fifth of the game on Delhi's next possession. Eye then went 1-for-2 at the free throw line, and Goodman-Boddie hit a layup for the Saints with 3:35 left in the game. Delhi called a timeout, trailing 63-60. Delhi then executed the play they drew up, with Salley converting a layup off a pass from Holland.
With just under three minutes to play, Bruneel collected an offensive board after a steal and missed layup by Akins. Bruneel was fouled on the put-back and then went 2-for-2 from the foul line to put CSJ ahead 65-62. The next minute saw missed shots and turnovers by both teams before Salley hit her third 3-pointer of the quarter, tying the game at 65.
Bruneel attempted a three in response that was just off the mark. Acuna picked up the rebound for Delhi and Salley missed a layup on Delhi's ensuing possession. Bruneel collected the rebound for CSJ before a full timeout was called for the home team.
After the break, CSJ executed a play that set Goodman-Boddie up for a jump shot. The shot kissed the rim, and Latham was in the perfect spot to grab the offensive rebound and lay the ball in for the winning basket. Delhi had two seconds to attempt to even the tally, but CSJ's high pressure full-court press prevented the Broncos from getting a last-second shot off.
CSJ's full-court defense forced 22 Delhi turnovers throughout the contest. The Saints committed 14 turnovers as a team. CSJ edged Delhi 32-24 in points in the paint and 19-10 in points off turnovers. The Fighting Saints also had 20 second chance points to Delhi's 10. The Broncos had the advantage in rebounds, 52-49. CSJ shot 32.0 percent from the field (24-for-75), 5-for-23 from three and 14-of-23 from the free throw line. The Broncos made 35.9 percent from the field (23-for-64), 8-for-20 from downtown and 11-of-15 from the free throw line.
Bruneel led CSJ in scoring with 17 points. She also collected eight rebounds. Goodman-Boddie recorded 11 rebounds, 10 points and five assists. Black had 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Eye rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points and also had seven rebounds. Latham scored eight points, including the game-winner, and pulled down five rebounds. Delhi's Salley had 24 points in the second half (with six 3-pointers) to finish with a game-high 28 points.
The Fighting Saints play next at Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, N.Y. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7pm.