PHILADELPHIA - Fresh off a pair of Big 5 victories last week, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team has garnered national honors as the Hawks were named ESPN's Team of the Week by Graham Hays on Monday. Additionally, junior guard Natasha Cloud was recognized for her stellar performances at Temple and Villanova as she was named both Atlantic 10 and Big 5 Co-Player of the Week.
Standing at 8-1 on the season, Saint Joseph's opened Big 5 play with a 2-0 mark after topping Temple and Villanova. Last Wednesday versus the Owls, the Hawks used a 12-2 run early in the second half to break a 36-36 tie with Temple and pull away for a 73-53 victory. In an equally tight game at Villanova on Saturday, Saint Joseph's took a one-point lead with less than two minutes to go and got a key basket from Cloud and two strong defensive stops to earn a 63-60 win.
The Hawks, who have won seven straight entering Tuesday home game versus Hofstra, also received one vote in this week's Associated Press Poll.
Averaging 17.5 points, 10.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game las t week, Cloud set new career-highs for points and matched her single-game mark for assists. At Temple on Wednesday, Cloud helped SJU win its first game at Temple since the 2002-03 season as she tallied a career-best 21 points and matched her career-high with 13 assists to go with six rebounds. She followed that up with a game-high eight assists to go with 14 points and seven rebounds. Additionally, Cloud hit the game-sealing jumper with just over a minute to go in the 63-60 win against the Wildcats. For the season, she is averaging 11.6 points, 8.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Cloud shares the A-10 weekly honor with Duquesne's Wumi Agunbiade and the Big 5 honor with Penn's Alyssa Baron.
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