MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Saint Elizabeth had five different players, led by freshman guard Ashley Pledger, score in double figures on the way to a 75-39 victory over visiting Wilson in North Eastern Athletic Conference basketball action Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hall.
The Screaming Eagles improve to 2-4 on the season and level their conference record at 1-1, while Wilson drops to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the NEAC.
Joining Pledger in the scoring column was senior Kelly O’Dell with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. It was the first double-double of the season (and the eighth in just two season) for O’Dell who just missed a triple-double; she had a game-high seven steals (after setting a career-best mark last game with eight swipes against Penn State-Harrisburg).
Pledger sank all five of her free throw attempts – she leads the team by hitting 91.7 percent from the line this season – and added eight rebounds. CSE also got big contributions from reserve post players Naquell Simmons, who added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and sophomore Madellyn Rodriguez, who had a career-high 12 points and six rebounds.
Freshman guard Amerisse Rogers also filled out the stat sheet with 13 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and four assists.
At the start of the day, the Phoenix had the upper hand. A deep 3-pointer by Wilson guard Vanessa Whitfield at 15:33 gave the visitors a brief 7-6 lead.
CSE used tight defense and a potent transition game to build a 22-4 run. A pair of free throws by O’Dell at 6:21 put the Screaming Eagles’ lead at 28-11. CSE would shoot 13-of-20 from the charity stripe in the first half and hold the commanding 40-19 advantage. It was the second consecutive home game CSE hit the 40-point mark in the first 20 minutes.
The defensive effort by Saint Elizabeth held the Phoenix to just 26.7 percent shooting while forcing 19 turnovers on 11 CSE steals.
Rogers led all scorers with nine points in the first half while O’Dell and Pledger chipped in seven markers each.
The Screaming Eagles left little doubt on today’s result by coming out of the locker room with a 9-2 run. O’Dell fed Rodriguez for a lay-up in the lane and then the roles were reversed on the next possession. Rodriguez’s dish found O’Dell who converted the layup despite a foul and completed the old fashioned three-point play with a free throw.
The senior would make four of her six attempts at the free throw line on the day.
CSE’s lead would grow to as a large as 38 – the basket came on another nifty drop pass by Rodriguez who hit Rogers cutting to the basket for a layup at 4:49.
The Screaming Eagles tallied 20 steals on the afternoon and held a decisive 70-39 advantage on the backboards.
Morgan Wonders led Wilson with a double-double effort of 11 points and 10 rebounds while Whitfield added 11 points, seven boards and three steals despite battling foul trouble the entire game.
The Screaming Eagles complete the weekend back-to-bacon on Sunday, Dec. 9 with a visit from SUNY Old Westbury at 1 p.m. CSE fans will get one more shot to cheer on their team this semester: The Screaming Eagles host Yeshiva on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.