College of St. Joseph's women's basketball team earned an 84-76 win over UMaine Machias on Sunday, Dec. 14. CSJ freshman Arielys Rodriguez led all scorers with a career-high 33 points, including nine made 3-pointers. Dymond Collins collected a double-double off of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Alayna Caricofe flew down the court after a missed CSJ shot and made a layup off an assist by teammate Linda Riley. Seconds later, Rodriguez took her first shot of the game and converted her first 3-pointer of the contest.
The two teams exchanged baskets and the lead of the game, with the Clippers' largest advantage being 13-6 midway through the quarter. Rodriguez scored her second 3-pointer to bring the Saints within four points of UMM, and Crisalida Chaplin scored a jump shot after an offensive rebound to bring CSJ within two. Baskets by Collins, Rodriguez, Madison Akins and Alexius Brooks allowed the Lady Saints to build a 23-15 edge before time expired in the first quarter.
CSJ reduced their turnovers from nine in the first quarter to just one in the second. The Lady Saints' care with the ball paired with their high-energy full court press allowed them to win the quarter, 22-18. Caitlyn Lyons scored nine of Machias' 18 in the second quarter. Aliesha Thomas scored seven points and Rodriguez netted two 3-pointers to help give CSJ a 45-33 advantage at halftime.
Riley scored a putback to start the second-half scoring for the Clippers, but Daija Black answered and was fouled as she made her layup. Black made the ensuring free throw to complete the three point play. After Lyons scored a layup for UMM, Thomas scored a 3-pointer for the Fighting Saints, making the game 51-41 with 6:18 left to play in the quarter.
With two minutes remaining in the quarter, Thomas dribbled the ball up the court, as if to start the offense, and took a 3-point shot at the top of the arc to make the game 59-49. NaKeeya Goodman-Boddie made a free throw and Brooks tallied a layup for the Fighting Saints to cap CSJ's third-quarter scoring.
Alicen Brooks opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for UMM, cutting their deficit to 62-56. Rodriguez then hit a 3-pointer off an Akins assist in response for CSJ, and the Clippers never came within eight points for the remainder of the game.
Rodriguez's 33 points consisted of 11-for-22 shooting (50 percent) from the field and an astounding 9-for-14 shooting (64.3 percent) from 3-point range. She also collected four steals, two rebounds and an assist. Thomas had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and two assists. Collins notched 13 points and 12 rebounds, while also tallying two steals.
The Fighting Saints play next on Tuesday, Jan. 16 versus UMaine Fort Kent at Green Mountain College at 3 p.m.