MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Saint Elizabeth freshman guard Ashley Pledger scored a career-high 17 points as the hot shooting Screaming Eagles picked up their first win of the season Saturday afternoon with a 80-49 victory over visiting Cedar Crest at St. Joseph’s Hall.
Saint Elizabeth (1-2) shot season-high 51.5 percent from the floor and tallied 23 team assists on 34 field goals. The Screaming Eagles got 14 points from junior Cheyenne Grant and 12 points from freshman forward Sharolin Sanders.
Senior Kelly O’Dell filled out the stat sheet, handing out a game-high 10 assists with eight rebounds and six points.
Coming off a high intensity game Thursday night against NYU, the Screaming Eagles had a sluggish start on Saturday afternoon.
O’Dell got CSE rolling with a fast-break layup at 16:21 and Pledger followed with a steal and jump shot as the Eagles were up 6-1.
The lead grew to 10-1 when Pledger made a steal and fed senior guard Noelle Grande streaking in for the layup with 14:19 left.
After a timeout, Cedar hit a pair of baskets but O’Dell fed Pledger for a baseline jumper that rolled in for a 12-5 CSE lead.
A corner triple by junior Cheyenne Grant midway through the half put the home team up 17-8 and ignited a 23-5 run that was capped at 3:56 when reserve forward Madellyn Rodriguez finished a move in the lane for a 40-13 lead.
CSE shot 52.8 percent in the first half and led 45-21 at intermission, its best offensive effort of the season. Pledger led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, hitting 6 of her 7 shots. Sanders added 10 points off the bench while O’Dell registered six of her assists in the first half.
Denyell Spingola led the Falcons (1-6) with nine points at half.
The Screaming Eagles continued to pour in the points at the start of the second half, opening up a 59-26 lead five minutes in after O’Dell picked up her 10th assist when she found Chantelle Clark on an inbounds play for a layup.
Saint Elizabeth (1-2) tallied 15 steals and held a 38-28 rebounding advantage on the game, seeing their lead grow to as large as 39 points in the second half. Pledger and Grande both posted four steals.
Saint Elizabeth stays in Morris County for its next game, heading across the street to Fairleigh Dickinson on Monday, Dec. 3 for 7 p.m. non-conference game. Having barely time to catch their breath, the Screaming Eagles will open up the 2012-13 North Eastern Athletic Conference slate the next day with a 7 p.m. game at Penn State Harrisburg.