NEW LONDON, Conn. – University of Saint Joseph overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to post a 74-70 victory over Mitchell College on Wednesday night in non-conference women's basketball action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
Rajeen Mayo and Kayla Guest combined for 53 points on the night to lead the Blue Jays. Mayo scored a game-high 27 points and shot 17-for-18 from the free throw line. Guest netted 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Diamond Wallen also contributed nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds while Shaniyah Williams chipped in eight points.
Allegra Jones paced the Mariners with a career-high 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting and added six steals. Haley Garcia and Jessica Lohneiss also finished in double digits with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Mitchell led by one after the opening quarter but built the margin to eight by intermission. Jones drilled four three-pointers and netted 14 points in the first half to stake the Mariners to a 36-28 lead at the break. Guest kept the Blue Jays in the game with 16 points over the first 20 minutes.
In the early minutes of the second half, Mitchell pushed the lead to 14 following a jumper by Garcia. Saint Joseph responded with a 10-0 run to claw back into the game, with Mayo providing eight points during the spurt.
The Mariners scored six straight points to pump the lead back to double digits with 2:33 left in the third, only to see the margin trimmed back to six by the end of the period. Guest carried the Blue Jays through the opening minutes of the fourth, scoring a pair of buckets as the visitors kept fighting. Her final basket of the night tied the game at 57-57 with 7:13 to go, though she picked up her fifth foul just 1:33 later.
Mayo and Wallen finished the job for Saint Joseph, combining for 13 points in the final 4:42 to seal the win. Wallen's lay-up with 3:56 to play gave the Blue Jays their first lead (62-61) since the opening quarter, and the visitors never trailed again. Mitchell later tied the game on a jumper by Jones with 1:31 remaining, but Mayo drew a foul on the next USJ possession and drained a pair of free throws. She went 5-for-6 from the line in the final minute as the Blue Jays held on.
Saint Joseph shot 40 free throws in the game and outscored Mitchell 31-11 at the charity stripe. The Blue Jays shot just 32 percent from the floor but forced 29 turnovers that resulted in 29 points.
Mitchell (0-4 overall) will next host Lesley University on Saturday, December 2 at 1 p.m. Saint Joseph (4-2 overall) returns to action at home against Lasell College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.