College of St. Joseph's women's basketball team defeated UMaine-Machias (UMM) 71-70 in a game that was determined in the final seconds of play.
CSJ trailed 69-70 with 11 seconds to play. Rachel Bruneel tried for a 3-pointer that was just off the mark. Center Sabrena Eye then fought for an important offensive rebound before laying the ball up for a basket with eight seconds on the clock. The Fighting Saints' full court press then forced a Machias turnover to seal the exciting victory.
The momentum throughout the game shifted between both teams. The Clippers won the first quarter 23-13. The Fighting Saints regrouped and elevated their play on both ends of the court in the second frame. Eye had 10 points in the quarter and Madison Akins recorded 6 points to help CSJ win the quarter 23-9 and gain a 36-32 halftime lead.
The Saints shots 64 percent (9-of-14) from the field as a team in the third frame. LaShaunte White went 4-for-5 herself with two 3-pointers for a 10-point quarter. Alayah Sweeney had 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in the quarter and Jayla Latham also scored 5.
Machias did not back down after losing the third quarter 18-24 and amassing a 50-60 deficit going into the fourth quarter. Faith Tirrell hit two 3-pointers for the Clippers and Caitlyn Lyons had 10 rebounds and six points in the final frame of play. UMM outscored the Saints 20-11 in the fourth. Lucky for CSJ, Eye was able to convert on a contested post move under pressure to put the game away.
Eye led CSJ with 19 points, 6 rebounds and two steals and shot 50 percent (9-of-18) from the field. White recorded 16 points, 3 assists and had four 3-pointers throughout the game. Akins had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and three steals. Tate Dolley scored a game-high 31 points for the Clippers. Tirrell finished with 12 points, six rebounds and Caitlyn Lyons had 12 rebounds, 11 points.
The Fighting Saints have won five straight games in 2019 to improve to 8-10 on the year. Their next contest is on Thursday, Jan. 24 at New Hampshire Technical Institute at 7:30 pm.