PAXTON, Mass – Tuesday night the AMCATS hosted the University of St. Joseph. A team they lost to on the road 17 day ago. Tonight was a different story as Anna Maria rolled to a 22-point, 79-57 conference victory.
For the AMCATS, senior guard Kristina Russo (South Windsor, Conn) led all scorers with a 20-point effort. Russo connected six time from beyond the arch and shot seven-for-14 overall. Coming off the bench to score 17, senior guard Kayla Odegaard (Milton, Mass) went three-for-six from three-land. Posting a career high 16 points, junior center Shannon Hoffmiller (Oxford, Conn) was seven-of-10 from the field. Hoffmiller also blocked three shots in the game. Joining those three with a double-digit scoring effort, graduate student guard Johanna Burke (Oxford, Mass) scored 10 points in the contest while also pulling down seven rebounds. Leading the 'Cats and the game in rebounding was a usual suspect, senior guard Maritza Gustave (Fall River, Mass), who pulled down 12 rebounds and added seven points to the home team tally. Freshman guard Franchesca Hammond (Worcester, Mass) had herself a night as she dished out a career-high 15 assists and stole the ball three times.
The Blue Jays only had two players in double-digits as senior forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn) and senior guard Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn) each scored 15 points for the visitors. Leading St. Joe's in rebounds was freshman guard Melicia Mendez (Hartford, Conn) who grabbed eight boards.
Anna Maria controlled this game from the start. In the first seven minutes of action the AMCATS went on a 10-2 run. Though they would only score 12 points in the first quarter themselves, the 'Cats defense only gave up seven points in the quarter and led by five after the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw higher scoring for both teams. Hammond would score all of her six points in the quarter, Gustave, Burke, and Russo would all hit threes, helping the AMCATS outscore the Blue Jays 16-14 in the quarter to take a 28-21 lead in to the break.
In the third, both teams scored their best totals. Though the AMCATS defense faltered at time, the offence would pick up the slack. With a multitude of scoring plays assisted by Hammond and another on slot of three-pointers, Anna Maria would score 35 points in the quarter, a season high. Compared to the 22 scored by the Blue Jays, AMC took a 20-point advantage in to the final 10 minutes.
USJ had no answer for Anna Maria all game long and that didn't change in the 4th quarter. The teams would match their scoring totals from the second period, 16 to AMC, 14 to USJ, and the AMCATS were able to split the season series with the Blue Jays by way a 22-point victory, 79-57, for a much needed conference win.
Up next for the AMCATS, a road trip to Boston on Thursday evening at 5pm to take on the Suffolk University Rams in GNAC play.
Click Here to see the full box score from Tuesday's game.