ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The 16-point margin of victory, 70-54, for the Susquehanna women's basketball team over John Jay was a bit misleading as the Crusaders maintained a 20-plus point lead for the majority of the second half in the consolation game of the Nazareth Tournament.
Gina Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa./Wallenpaupack) led her team with 10 points and fell just two rebounds shy of a double-double with a team-best eight boards. Freshman Eleni Dimou (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) added nine points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals for SU (3-10) while Mariah Monahan (Towanda, Pa./Towanda Area) and Nora Joyce (Scranton, Pa./West Scranton) had eight points apiece.
As a team, Susquehanna (3-8) shot 40 percent from the floor while holding the Bloodhounds (3-6) to a 34 percent showing. The Crusaders defense also forced 30 John Jay turnovers which translated into 26 SU points.
There seemed to be no carry over from Friday night's loss to St. Mary's (Md.) as the Crusaders jumped out to an 8-0 lead six minutes into the game and never looked back. Monahan accounted for six of those points.
After five minutes of action, SU remained ahead 10-2 and held its first double-digit lead, 12-2, courtesy of a Samantha Pelletier (Harwinton, Conn./Lewis S. Mills) three-pointer at the 13:15 mark.
Susquehanna's lead grew to 15 points (17-2) with 12:12 still to play and even though the Bloodhounds scored eight points over the next four minutes, SU still had 24-10 advantage inside the 8:30 mark.
While John Jay found a bit more of a rhythm on offense for the remainder of the period, the Crusaders kept draining buckets, as well. They were up 33-16 with 3:43 remaining and ultimately went into halftime leading 36-24.
The Crusaders scored seven of the first nine points of the second half go ahead 43-26. A three-point play by Joyce with 15:50 to play made it a 20-point contest (49-29).
The SU lead grew to 54-29 five minutes later and a Shannon Grunwald (Neshanic Station, N.J./Somerville) layup at 8:33 handed her squad a game-high 25-point lead (56-31), effectively putting the game out of reach.
SU opens 2012 on Jan. 3 with a 6 p.m. game at Cabrini.