Jocelyn Rodriguez picked a nice time to end her shooting slump.
St. Elizabeth’s senior point guard had been struggling to score the last few games, but she found the groove Tuesday night against Glasgow. Rodriguez hit four 3-pointers, including two key shots early in the fourth quarter, and scored 20 points as the No. 2-ranked Vikings downed the No. 9 Dragons 59-49 at the St. E Center.
“Finally,” Rodriguez said. “I keep shooting, I don’t force it, but lately none of my shots have been falling so I’ve been passing a lot more. Tonight, I had a lot of opportunities to score so I took the chance.”
St. E coach Tom Ferrier had no doubt his lone senior would regain her touch.
“She’s a much better shooter than she’s been showing as of late,” Ferrier said of Rodriguez. “It was only a matter of time. She’s not going to shoot poorly for a long stretch. She found her stroke tonight, and that was good.”
The Vikings (9-3) scored the game’s first nine points and led all the way, but it wasn’t easy against a Glasgow team that had multiple players driving inside all night.
“They are super, super quick, and they like to go one-on-one to the basket,” Ferrier said. “That creates a different type of game to defend. Most of the teams play a more balanced game. It’s hard to defend them.”
Rodriguez hit two free throws and a 3-pointer during the opening surge. Macy Robinson made a driving layup and Alex Thomas’ score off a fast break pushed St. E up 9-0 with 4:16 left in the opening quarter.
The Vikings led 16-7 after the first quarter, and increased the margin to 30-19 at the half. St. E’s Sabrina Hackendorn opened the second half with two buckets, and the 5-foot-4 Rodriguez scored on a rare offensive rebound to make it 36-19.
But the Dragons kept driving, and a running 12-footer by Classie Graves pulled Glasgow within 42-31 going into the fourth quarter.
“We could have played better man-to-man,” Rodriguez said. “I give them credit, because they’re very fast. They made us look slow sometimes.”
Rodriguez ended the Dragons’ comeback hopes with two more 3-pointers, and Robinson (15 points) scooped in a layup to put the Vikings up 53-35 with 4:26 to play.
Hadasha Moore scored 17 and Graves added 14 points for Glasgow (11-3). Jordyn Humes provided a lift off the bench for St. E with eight points.
“I know that when I come in off the bench, I have to put in all my effort and keep the team up,” Humes said. “I just went out there and did what we practice, and it turned out well tonight.”