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Saints run win total to eight games

Tallying eight points apiece for the Saints were guards Leah Sims (JR/Chicago, Ill.) and Allee Hernandez (SR/Homer Glen, Ill.)

winning trend for the nationally eighth-ranked University of St. Francis women’s basketball team continues as the Saints extended their current streak to eight games Jan. 11 with a 68-30 home decision over Judson in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action at USF’s Sullivan Center.

The league win puts USF’s record at 16-3 overall and 11-0 in the CCAC on the season as the Saints have now been victorious in 14 of their last 15 contests to date.

USF also improved its home mark to 8-1 and claimed victory over Judson for the 14th consecutive time in their all-time series. The Saints sweep their regular-season series with the Eagles after posting an 81-28 road win earlier this season (Dec. 7).

USF’s forward-center Kaitlin Aylward (SR/Elmwood Park, Ill.) earned the distinction of being the only player in the game to reach double-figure scoring with 11 points.

Tallying eight points apiece for the Saints were guards Leah Sims (JR/Chicago, Ill.) and Allee Hernandez (SR/Homer Glen, Ill.) along with forward Andriana Acosta (JR/Crest Hill, Ill.) and center Lacey Gardner (JR/Spring Grove, Ill.).

The Saints used a big first half run, which included outscoring Judson 13-4 in the opening quarter, to bolt out to a commanding 32-9 halftime advantage.

The Saints shot a combined 46.4 percent (13-28) from the field in the opening two quarters while limiting Judson to only 10% shooting (2-20) for the first half.

In the third quarter, USF continued to build upon its margin as an 8-3 scoring spurt made it 40-12 with 7:16 to be played in the frame.

The Saints would eventually pushed their lead in the time remaining to as many as 29 points (48-19) with 20 seconds left in the frame.

The Eagles managed to trim their margin down to 29 points early in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer as USF was able to go on a lengthy scoring run and take a 40-points advantage at 68-28 with 1:22 remaining in the game.

The loss for Judson puts the Eagles currently at 1-16 overall and 1-10 in CCAC play for this season. Ta’Mia Banks led JU in scoring with nine points and Syndie Wolf tossed in eight points.

USF concluded the game with a 45.2 percent (28-62) shooting effort and the Saints hit on eight-of-21 (38.1 percent) three’s in addition to making four of their six free throw attempts.

Defensively, USF limited Judson to only 20.8 percent (10-48) field goal shooting overall while holding the Eagles to one three-pointer in 14 trey opportunities for 7.1 percent. JU would make nine-of-14 free throws for 64.3 percent.

On the boards, USF claimed a 40-35 advantage and grabbed nine offensive boards to eight for the Eagles, which trailed USF by an 11-5 margin in second chance production.

Andriana Acosta’s eight boards led the Saints while Paige Gieseke (JR/Algonquin, Ill.) and forward Jordan Pyle (SO/Traralgon, Australia) both pulled down six caroms apiece.

The Saints also forced 19 Judson turnovers and came away with 11 steals in the contest which resulted in a 21-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

FSU also distributed the ball well as evidenced by 17 assists, which included seven from Kaitlin Aylward and three by Paige Gieseke.

USF dominated in both points in the paint (34-8) and in bench scoring (35-8).

The Saints will hit the road this upcoming Wednesday, Jan. 15, for a CCAC encounter as the Saints travel to Davenport, Iowa, to face the St. Ambrose Bees.

Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. at SAU’s Lee Lohman Arena.


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