GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. (2/9/11) – Freshman guard Emily Cristaldi scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Kean University women's basketball team to an 87-63 win over host Gwynedd-Mercy College in non-conference action on Wednesday evening.
With the win, the #7/8 Cougars (20-3) posted their fifth straight 20-win season.
For Gwynedd-Mercy (13-8), Kristy McGrath finished with a game-high 19 points, including a 9-of-9 night from the foul line.
With the host Griffins taking an early 5-2 lead just 46 seconds into the game, Kean went on a 25-5 run over the next 10 minutes of the game to build a 17-point lead at 27-10 with 8:47 remaining in the opening half. Seven different Cougars scored in the run, with senior forward Tiffany Patrick (pictured left) leading the charge with all nine of her first-half points.
Kean extended the lead 22 points at 35-13 on a lay-up by junior guard Noel Mathis en-route to taking a 35-16 lead at halftime. In addition to Patrick's nine points, three steals and two blocks, Mathis added six points, seven rebounds and four steals. The Cougar defense held Gwynedd-Mercy to just 12.9 percent shooting in the half, as the Griffin hit just 4-of-31 shots from the floor, including 2-of-13 from long range.
In the second half, the Cougars quickly extended the lead out to 23 points on lay-ups by Cristaldi and sophomore Naimah Clemons. A 17-5 run midway through the second half gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game at 70-37, before settling in for the 24-point victory.
All 13 Cougars dressed for the game played at least eight minutes, with 12 Kean players scoring at least one point.
Smith and Patrick each finished with 13 points, as Patrick added six rebounds, five blocks and three steals and Smith hit 6-of-7 from the floor. Mathis (pictured right) came off the bench to finish with six points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals, while junior Danielle McFadden had nine points and eight rebounds.
For the Griffins, Theresa Griffin had nine points in 10 minutes of action off the bench.
Kean returns to action on Saturday, February 12, when the Cougars travel to Rutgers-Camden for a New Jersey Athletic Conference match-up at 1 p.m.