Joe Gorby, Sports Information Director
JOLIET – Shooting 65 percent from three-point field goal range, the nationally 16th-ranked University of St. Francis women’s basketball team bested Trinity Christian, 84-51, this Saturday (Nov. 14) afternoon in a non-conference matchup at USF’s Sullivan Center.
USF, which improved its overall record to 3-1 this season, connected on 13 of 20 attempts from behind the three-point arc. Guard Justene Charlesworth (JR/Wanatah, Ind.), who had 16 points in the contest, made four-of-five treys while guard Leah Sims (SR/Chicago, Ill.) knocked down three triples en route to 13 points. Forward Shadrian McDaniel (JR/Chicago, Ill.)’s 17 points led all players as the Saints had 11 individuals crack the scoring column. Guard-forward Josie Graffeo (SO/Manteno, Ill.) netted nine points with a game-high eight rebounds to support the USF effort and guard Braxtin Mickens (FR/Indianapolis, Ind.) tallied eight points off the bench to make her collegiate debut a memorable one.
Trinity Christian (0-1) led 16-12 after the first quarter of action, but the Saints controlled the game from there by outscoring the Trolls 22-1 in the second quarter due in part to 52.9 percent (9-17) shooting from the floor to take a 34-17 halftime lead.
The start of the second half saw each team score 18 third-quarter points with USF increasing its double-digit lead to 23 points on three occasions, including 44-21 at the six-minute mark. The Trolls managed to cut their deficit to 16 points (44-28) with 4:36 left in the quarter, but were unable to get any closer. The Saints doubled up Trinity Christian in the fourth quarter, outscoring the visitors by a 32-16 margin, and claimed their largest lead of 35 points (80-45) with two minutes remaining in the game.
Summer Cramer totaled 15 points to pace Trinity Christian, which also received 12 points from Jasmine Glover. Gabby Kreykes grabbed a team-most seven rebounds and Abby Coates chipped in with six caroms.
The Saints outshot the Trolls 50.8 percent (32-63) percent to 29.6 percent (16-54) on the day. USF’s bench outscored TCC 27-3 while the Saints controlled the paint area with a 34-16 points advantage. USF also outrebounded the Trolls, 38-31.
USF has now won 18 of the last 19 meetings between the two teams, which includes a current five-game winning streak and are 9-1 in their last 10 appearances against Trinity Christian.
The win also moved USF head coach Steve Brooks into a third-place tie on the Saints’ all-time coaching victories list. Brooks, who has compiled a current 78-25 (.757) ledger at USF, tied former Saints’ coaches John Barkoski (78-152; 1991-00) and Frank Kaminsky (78-83; 2003-08).
USF returns to the floor next Saturday, Nov. 21, taking on another Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) member the Judson Eagles in a 1 p.m. (CT) non-league home encounter at the Sullivan Center.