BROCKTON, Mass. -- Cardinal Spellman tallied 29 second half points and held Archbishop to 19 points during the final sixteen minutes of regulation, as the Cardinals salvaged the game and earned a 51-39 victory.
“We played our worst game of the year,” Archbishop Williams head coach Jim Bancroft said bluntly after his team’s loss. “We’re supposed to dribble, penetrate, dribble, drive, dribble and pass and cut. It was just a lack emotion, a lack intensity, we just didn’t play a very good game.”
“We’re relying on our defense right now, I mean team’s are having a lot of trouble scoring against us,” Spellman head coach Pat Lamb said.
The Cardinals (6-0) won the tip-off and jumped out to a very small marginal lead, but due to numerous amounts of turnovers, travels and fouls that were committed, they allowed the Bishops to score 12 points during the first quarter.
Archbishop Williams (4-2) struggled to score easy jump shots and layups, which forced their offense, primarily guard Sara Ryan, to take multiple three-point shots. Ryan shot the ball roughly 12 times beyond the arc and was only successful at converting two of her shots.
“We’d normally would not want a lot of three pointers (during any game we play),” Bancroft said.
The Bishops also struggled at defending the Cardinals senior center, Alexis Udoji, who finished the evening with 18 points and 5 blocked shots.
“Alexis is who she is, she makes a nit back on both ends of the floor. We can get into something constructively to get her the ball (but) teams got to make a decision to single team her. She’s probably going to score against most (of them). Double (or) triple team her and hopefully get other kids who can make shots and tonight we did,” said Lamb.
“I kind of was not myself at the beginning of the game, I had to like Pat get it into my head and get me kind of going. What he did like I said was pushed my buttons and kind of got me going, so basically what happened,” said Udoji.
Following a back-and-forth first half, the Cardinals came out roaring in the second half, as senior guard Christina Deiorio scored 13 second half points, while Udoji recorded 10 points. The Cardinals defense also ramped up their pressure and forced the Bishops to continue to turn the ball over, which wasn’t something that pleased Bancroft.
“We can’t turn the ball over that much. (We’ve) got to get back to our offense and just more intensity,” said Bancroft.
The Bishops offense attempted a late rally in the fourth quarter, despite trailing by 18 points during the final 2 minutes, but was unsuccessful. Freshman center Olivia Conrad led her squad with 9 points, Sara Ryan finished with 8 points and Christine Chase recorded 7 points.