PHILADELPHIA - Backed by a game-high 23 points from junior Adashia Franklyn, third seed Saint Joseph's ran past 14th seed Rhode Island, 77-51, in the First Round of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday at Michael J. Hagan ‘85 Arena.
With the win, the Hawks (16-13) advance to the quarterfinals of the A-10 Championship where they will face sixth-seeded La Salle on Friday, March 3, at the Richmond Coliseum at 7:00 pm. All four quarterfinal games will air on American Sports Network (ASN) and online at americansportsnet.com/live.
Saint Joseph’s, the No. 3 seed in the championship, was in control from the beginning, leading from the opening tip. The Hawks used a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter to open a 20-8 advantage on a layup by senior Amanda Fioravanti with 1:11 to go in the period.
Holding a double-digit edge for most of the second quarter, the Hawks took a 34-21 lead into the third period and quickly built it to 39-24 on a three-point play by Franklyn at the 8:27 mark.
Rhode Island (6-23) answered with a 10-3 run to make it 42-34 on a layup by Amari Johnson with 3:11 to go in the quarter.
Saint Joseph's responded with a flourish to end the third though to reclaim momentum. Sparked by a pair of Franklyn free throws, the Hawks closed out the quarter on a 13-3 run to open a 55-37 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The 18-point deficit would be as close as the Rams would get in the final 10 minutes as Saint Joseph's outscored the visitors 22-14 en route to winning its ninth straight home game.
Charise Wilson led the Rams in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting. She was joined in double-figures by Jalissa Ross and Dina Motrechuk, who both scored 12 points.