The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 24, 2013

Williams scores 40 in Red Flash win

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The St. Francis women’s basketball team used a career-high 40-point day from Alli Williams to knock off East Tennessee State 92-79 on Sunday afternoon to earn its first win of the season.

The Red Flash (1-3) shot a season-high 48 percent from the field, with a large portion coming from Williams, who went 14 of 25 from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line in just 30 minutes on the floor.

The Buccaneers (1-3) saw four of their players score in double figures, but they could not keep pace with the Red Flash.

Williams’ 40 points ties Beth Swink’s 2005 game against St. Francis (N.Y.) for the second most all-time in a single game at St. Francis.

“It was a great team win today,” St. Francis coach Joe Haigh said. “After a couple setbacks we recognized we had to get better with defensive rebounding and our communication on the floor.

“We were much better in those two areas today, we really played as a team, and we got great contributions from a lot of our freshmen. Alli was great as usual and we made some shots today.”

St. Francis trailed by as much as seven early in the first half before a layup by Bridget Murphy capped off a 7-0 run and tied the game at 13.

St. Francis took its first lead at 18-17 after Williams – a Bishop Guilfoyle graduate – put in two of her 21 first-half points at the 9:33 mark.

The Red Flash extended their lead to 13 before the halftime break and took a 43-30 advantage into the locker room.

In the second half, St. Francis kept rolling with its bench starting to contribute.

The Red Flash posted 35 bench points, including a season-best 12 points from Erin Blaine.

St. Francis extended its lead to as much as 21 halfway through the second and never looked back.

St. Francis also forced 22 East Tennessee State turnovers in the contest.

Murphy provided a spark off the bench scoring nine points and dishing out seven assists.

Brooklyn Taylor had her best game of the season. The sophomore scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds.

St. Francis also won the rebound battle 47-41 and led in second-chance points 27-15.

“It was a great first step for a really young team that is just starting to learn to play together,” Haigh said.

St. Francis returns home to the DeGol Arena on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. matchup with Howard.

The Red Flash won last year’s meeting 69-61 on Nov. 9, 2012.

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