With a pair of one-point victories over the week, the Bluejays improved to 6-8 overall and 5-5 in conference play.
Starting with a 77-76 overtime win at Seton Hall on Saturday, the Jays were carried by their guards in freshman Morgan Maly and seniors Tatum Rembao and Temi Carda.
Rembao, who earned a spot on the Big East honor roll after the game, hit the goahead basket with two seconds to go in the extra five minutes. This led the Bluejays to its first win in their four-game road stretch.
After being sidelined with injury since early January, this was Rembao’s second game back on the court as she clocked 36 minutes.
“It’s a great win and I’m happy for her. It was huge to have her. We needed every ounce of production we got from her in that tight of a game,” coach Jim Flanery said.
With Rembao out for much of the last month, the team looked to Carda for leadership. This is a role she hasn’t taken lightly and she’s excited by the improvement she’s watched the group make despite the challenges they’ve faced.
“We’ve really come together as a team and we’ve found a way to bring our own energy,” she said. “We’ve all been playing our roles really well and I think that’s given us a way to play as well as we have been lately.”
Maly, who had a career-high 20 points against Seton Hall followed by 11 on Monday, said these two games brought an energy that helped her find her own role.
“I think I’ve just found my role and my shots have been going in. Recently, my teammates have just been getting me the ball in good spots,” Maly said. ”When shots are going in, your confidence just goes up.”
That confidence is something Flanery is eager to see build as he tries to unlock some of the versatility he and his staff saw from her on Saturday.
In Monday’s close finish, the Bluejays relied on that same versatility but across the floor as they dug themselves out from a 41- 35 deficit in the final minute and a half of the fourth quarter.
Holding the Hoyas on defense in that final stretch translated to the offensive side of the ball to give the edge.
“In the second half as a whole, I thought we brought a lot more energy and started to play a lot more gritty. We started to make plays and get defensive stops one after another,” Carda said. “I think that bringing this energy to the defensive side of things really fueled our offense and got us on a little run at the end of the game.”
Carda sealed the win with four free throws in the final 25 seconds.
With just four games left on the regular season schedule, Flanery is optimistic with where his team stands.
“I like our resiliency and I like our continued growth of our young people and the leadership that we’re getting from our older kids too,” he said.
Two of those final four games will continue the Jays’ road stretch before returning home to play conference front-runner Connecticut on Feb. 25.