Hurricanes Blow Past St. Joe's in RoutPITTSFIELD, Mass. — Saint Joseph’s inability to slow down the fast-paced Hoosac Valley attack led to a 55-29 loss at home on Tuesday night.
A lopsided second half in favor of the Hurricanes (5-1, 2-0 South) put the Crusaders (4-2, 0-2 South) away for good. Although Hoosac Valley dictated the pace of the game throughout, the St. Joe kept the score close until a lopsided second half put the game out of reach for St. Joe.
A Keegan McCauley layup cut a four-point Hoosac lead to 22-20 less than a minute into the second half. Back-to-back layups by the Hurricanes pushed their lead to 26-20 with 6:13 remaining in the third quarter. Emylee Carnevale answered with a driving layup for the Crusaders, off of a McCauley feed in the lane.
Three free throws by Hoosac extended the lead to 29-24, before McCauley drove the baseline for a layup to get to within one possession. But a 13-2 run to end the third quarter gave the Hurricanes a decisive 16-point lead.
“The press did give us a little trouble,” said Crusader center Kendall Smith, “[but] our team just could’ve pushed harder than we did. I definitely think we could have beaten this team. We just didn’t play as well as we usually do. Third quarter we just dropped and fourth quarter we dropped even further.”
In the opening half, St. Joe forced Hoosac into taking plenty of perimeter shots, to no avail. But two Hurricane three-pointers in the third quarter sparked the run, to the Crusaders’ dismay.
Hoosac outscored St. Joe 20-8 in the third quarter, taking a commanding 42-24 lead en route to its fourth-straight win. Meanwhile, St. Joe lost its second-straight game after starting the season with four consecutive wins.
McCauley finished with a team-high 10 points for the Crusaders, but left in the first minute of the fourth quarter after jamming her finger. The status of her injury was unknown at game’s end, but Quinn speculated that it could be broken middle finger on her non-shooting hand.
The Crusaders began each half hoping to set up its half-court offense, planning to give Smith plenty of touches in the low post, according to head coach Jack Quinn. Smith, however, was held to five points, including one field goal, as the Hurricanes’ full-court press forced the Crusaders into a slew of turnovers, turning the game into a running match.
More importantly, according to St. Joe head coach Jack Quinn, it was his team’s lack of focus that was more debilitating during the loss. while Smith shared that sentiment.
“Our team kind of hit a low after getting down in the third quarter. We got beat and then we got in this mood and we couldn’t get out of it. When one person gets down, we all sort of get in this mode and we need to snap out of it,” Smith said.
Quinn believes that his team has not played well against the better teams they have faced, but is confident that they will rise to the challenge as the season progresses.
Gabby Schnopp made key plays for the Crusaders in what was a competitive first quarter. Tied 4-4, Schnopp’s jump shot from the corner gave St. Joe an early lead with 5:48 to play in the quarter. Following a Hurricane layup by Jen Gale, Schnopp hit another jumper, then assisted on a McCauley jump shot in the lane on the next Crusader possession, putting them up 10-6.
The Hurricane defense then went to work, ball-hawking and pestering St. Joe during a six-point run. An abundance of holes in the Crusader man-zone defense also led to easy baskets, according to Quinn. A layup by Tori Rumbolt gave Hoosac a 14-12 lead it did not relinquish.
Emily Rosse finished with a game-high 17 points along with eight rebounds to lead the Hurricanes. Megan Rodowicz (10 points) was the only other player to finish in double digits.