By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –The St. Joe’s women’s basketball team has hit the ground running this season.
Fresh off an Atlantic 10 title and appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Hawks have picked right up where they left off last season. They are 8-1 heading into Tuesday night’s home game with Hofstra and coming off four straight impressive road wins – including city series victories at Temple (73-53 on Wednesday) and Villanova (63-60 on Saturday).
“I knew we had a solid group coming back,” St. Joe’s head coach Cindy Griffin tells KYW Newsradio. “It was just a matter of how well they were going to gel together early or late. Certainly, I expected maybe a little bit later but happily surprised that it is happening as we go along and very proud of our start this year.”
The Hawks are getting key contributions from a lot of players. Sophomore forward Sarah Fairbanks leads the team in scoring (15.7 points/game) and rebounds (6.9 a contest). Senior guard, and Archbishop Carroll product, Erin Shields is right behind her in scoring, pouring in 15.3 points a game and she comes into this game with Hofstra just 11 points shy of the 1,000 plateau for her career. Junior guard Natasha Cloud, who went to Cardinal O’Hara, was named both Big 5 and Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week, last week, after averaging a double-double (17.5 pts, 10.5 asts in addition to 6.5 rebs) in two games.