By Jerry Del Priore
One would think that when a basketball squad wins by an 18-point margin, the team’s head coach would be happy, especially after it extended its current winning streak to five games.
But that wasn’t the case for Tom Flahive in St. Joesph’s Women’s hoops’ 96-78 victory over Yeshiva University (1-6, 0-5) Tuesday night at the Hill Center in Brooklyn.
“If you start to rely on that, it’s going to come back and bite us in the butt,” Flahive disappointedly said of his Bears kicking up their play a notch after letting the Maccabees back in the game in the fourth quarter. “And, of course, we don’t want to see that happen. I have to get a handle on it quickly because we’re in conference play, and the teams are going to get better.”
While all Bears (5-3, 4-0) played, Flavine said he needs to tinker with his rotations in order to find the right mix of hoopsters to spell his starters while still being productive.
“That’s my fault because my substitution patterns didn’t help our team be successful,” he said. “And it’s something I need to address.”
St. Joe’s raced out to a 17-2 lead after junior guard Kelly O’Donnell sank a free-throw with 6:50 left in the first quarter.
Yeshiva cut the deficit to 17-9 with 5:24 remaining in the period before the Bears closed out the quarter on a 12-6 run for a 29-15 advantage.
An 11-0 offensive spurt, capped by a Samantha Wilber three-pointer, gave St. Joe’s a 23- point lead (40-17) 1:27 into the second period.
The Maccabees narrowed the gap to 58-42 by the end of the first half. But O’Donnell and senior forward Lauren Quesada put the Bears up by a score of 63-42 with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Joe’s managed to hold a 22-point (80-58) advantage by the period’s end.
However, Yeshiva chipped away at the lead, closing the margin at 86-76 with 2:40 left in the contest.
Fourtanetly for the Bears, they went on a 10-2 run the rest of the way to seal the deal for the home team.
O’Donnell paced St. Joe’s with 27 points while Quesada contributed 16 points and nine rebounds. Wilber added 12 points and freshman center Emma Kiley posted a double-double, with 10 points and 11 boards.
Sophomore guard Jamie Provino and freshman guard Alexis Breen registered nine points apiece, while Provino dished out six assists.
Freshman guard Yuval Nitzan scored a game-high 32 points for the Maccabees.
The Bears travel to Old Westbury for a Saturday noon matchup.
Watch the video below as Ayomide Adeoye converts a missed three of a rebound.