by Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The St. Joseph’s University women’s basketball team will look to stay red-hot on Tuesday night when the Hawks wrap up their regular season with a home game against George Mason.
After a 3-11 start to the season, the Hawks have won 11 of their last 13. They are fourth in the Atlantic 10 with an 11-4 conference mark.
“We went through a tough stretch there early in the season,” St. Joe’s head coach Cindy Griffin tells KYW Newsradio. “Had some really tough, close losses. A lot of character-building, if you will, in the beginning part of our season. Really proud of our kids, just sticking with it and staying the course and staying focused and obviously being healthy helps. We’re excited about where we are and where we could be in a couple weeks.”
Listen to the entire interview with St. Joe’s head coach Cindy Griffin:
Griffin talks about what has allowed her group to turn this season around.
“I think there is a level of maturity and experience that this team needed,” she says. “The returning players that we have, played a lot of minutes for us, but they weren’t the ‘go to’ kids the last two years. I think having some youth there, or inexperience if you will, in some end of game situations hurt us in the beginning of the year. But I also think now it’s helping us because of the experience that we’ve had. We’ve shot the ball better, we’re getting a lot of production from our bench. Our defense is better, our rebounding is better. Overall, I just think we’re a better team than we were.”
St. Joe’s is being led by junior guard/forward Chelsea Woods and her 13.3 points per game. Junior forward Adashia Franklyn chips in 12.5 points a game while pulling down a team-high eight rebounds a contest.
The Hawks will look to finish the regular season strong against a George Mason team that comes to Hagan Arena with a 13-15 record (6-9 in the A-10).
“George Mason is a much better team than they were last year,” Griffin says. “Their defense is better, they’re holding teams to (62.5) points a game. They play a little bit of a match-up zone.”
Last season, the Hawks lost to George Mason down in Fairfax, Virginia, 55-41.
Tuesday night’s game will start at 7:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.