Uniontown, PA – Number one seed College of St. Joseph's-Vermont (30-1) claimed the 2016 USCAA Women's Division II title Saturday, defeating #3 Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (20-5) by a final score of 73-46. First-Team All-American Jazsala Laracuente led the Fighting Saints with 22 points.
Regina Steele and Arreonte Anderson each turned in double-doubles for St. Joseph's, with Steele's line reading 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steels, and 4 blocks, while Anderson went for 14 points, 14 boards, and 4 steels. Chontayvia Kennedy scored 17 points and recorded 5 take-aways for the Fighting Saints as well. Albany was led by Miranda Costin's 11 points.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the first few minutes of the contest, but Albany broke the scoring silence on a Rebecca Foote jumper at the 7:44 mark. After trading points to make it 4-2 with 6:25 to go in the opening period, the Fighting Saints went on an 11-point run before a Foote jumper temporarily stopped the St. Joseph's scoring barrage at 3:26. Another run of 12 points would give the Fighting Saints a 25-6 lead to end the first quarter.
After mini-run of five points by St. Joseph's to begin the second quarter, the teams would trade baskets for the remainder of the half to go into the locker room with a 39-19 score.
St. Joseph's would extend its lead by as much as 28 points in the third quarter with a Kelly Festa jumper that would make it 52-24. From there, Albany responded with a 12-3 run to close the period 55-36.
The Fighting Saints would start the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to go up by 26, and the teams would trade baskets from there to finish the game with a score of 73-46.
St. Joseph's was able to capitalize on Albany miscues, scoring half of their points (37) off turnovers. That was made possible due to the 20 team steals, setting a new Women's Divisions II record which previously stood at 18. The Fighting Saints finish off a dominant campaign with a 30-1 record and their first USCAA National Championship.
Women's Division II All-Tournament Team
Kelsey Finn, University of Cincinnati-Clermont
Khalia Adams, Penn State Beaver
Dannie Griffin, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Arreonte Anderson, College of St. Joseph's-Vermont
Jazz Laracuente, College of St. Joseph's-Vermont
Women's Division II Tournament MVP
Regina Steele, College of St. Joseph's-Vermont