The Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals began at Duquesne University with #1 VCU taking on #8 Saint Joseph’s. This was the third time this season that Rams versus Hawks occurred with VCU taking both victories.
Chaos & Reed Ram-sack Hawks
VCU secured the upper hand with a 7-0 scoring run in the first quarter. Sofya Pashigoreva scored a layup followed by Nyra Williams turning a SJU turnover into a fastbreak layup. VCU did damage at the free throw line going 3-of-4 increasing the lead to 7 points.
A sudden scoring drought for the Rams halted the offense. Saint Joseph’s could not take advantage of a scoreless 5 minutes by VCU. The Hawks went 1-of-10 from the field on their first 10 shooting attempts.
Tera Reed would take over scoring VCU’s last 8 points of the quarter. Reed drove the lane and connected on And-1 bucket revamping the Rams offensively. She kept the hot hand on back to back jumpers before the end of the 1st quarter. As a team, VCU shot 60% from the field in the opening 10 minutes.
A One Minute Counter
Saint Joseph’s cut the deficit to 2 points just under 60 seconds into the 2nd quarter. Kristalyn Baisden hit her second three-pointer for the Hawks. Following the VCU miss, Alyssa Monaghan nailed a mid-range jumper that gave the Hawks momentum.
Momentum quickly exited the Palumbo Center with both teams hitting the wall on offense once again. VCU missed their next 4 scoring attempts until Reed was fouled and went 2-for-2 at the free throw line. 5 consecutive misses and a turnover held the Hawks from flying towards the lead.
Coach Beth O’Boyle got point production from Olga Petrova and Danielle Hammond to keep VCU out in front. Petrova scored VCU’s lone three of the half and Hammond did damage from the paint. The rebounding glass was locked down by VCU with a 24-15 total rebounding advantage.
Reed finished the half with 12 points after putting in another layup. VCU had 7 Rams scored in the 1st half and held a 29-25 lead over Saint Joseph’s at halftime.
Painted Black & Gold
Baisden gave Saint Joseph’s their first lead of the game at 32-31 after a made three-pointer. VCU quickly responded with a 6-0 scoring swing to take the game back. Pashigoreva went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to put the Rams back up 1. Taya Robinson created an opening for a layup then Reed doubled down on VCU’s next possession.
A comeback was near fruition during the 3rd quarter. The Hawks created better shooting opportunities and they started falling more consistently. Baisden and Monaghan kept SJU close while VCU kept finding other scoring options outside of Reed.
Hammond got some assistance from Kseniya Malashka along with Robinson to keep the Rams’ paint dominance productive. VCU scored 12 of their 15 points of the 3rd quarter from the paint.
Finishing The Job
In the final quarter, Tera Reed hammered the Hawks at the glass. Reed scored 5 points in succession increasing VCU’s lead to 11 points. SJU could not stop VCU from getting inside the paint box and the Rams took full advantage.
Kseniya Malashka put the game further out of reach with a three-pointer with 4:40 to go. Over 6 minutes of the 4th quarter passed until the Hawks scored their first bucket thanks to Baisden. Saint Joseph’s shot 13% from the field on 2-of-15 shooting. A late rush of offense by the Hawks was not enough to salvage elimination.
VCU moves on to the Atlantic 10 Semi-Finals with the 58-47 win over Saint Joseph’s. Tera Reed collected her fourth 20+ point game performance of the season with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Kseniya Malashka led VCU from the bench with 13 points and 9 rebounds. VCU scored 36 points in the paint and collected 48 total rebounds against the Hawks.
A-10 Semi-Finals Up Next!
#1 VCU will face the winner of #4 Dayton vs. #5 Davidson in the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Semi-Finals. That game will begin at 11 AM on Saturday, March 9th at the A.J. Palumbo Center and broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.