With leading scorer, center Abby Wolf, on the sideline with an injury, Greenwich forward Brittany Rodriguez knew her team needed her to play a big game against the tall front line of St. Joseph, and Rodriguez delivered, propelling the Cardinals to a 37-34 win over the Cadets.
Rodriguez led the Cardinals with 11 points, the last two coming on pressure-packed free throws with 3.9 seconds to play that salted away the win.
Rodriguez was ready for the opportunity to strut her stuff.
"I needed personally to step up because our big man was gone," Rodriguez said. "I knew I had big shoes to fill and I tried my hardest and I think I succeeded and our team did great tonight without a few starters. Height was an issue but I think we shut them down and out worked them."
The Cardinals were also without the services of Jenny Cespedes, who was out with a knee injury.
Alexa Moses added 10 points for Greenwich while the Cadets were paced by Lauren Pitney and Caitlin Sharnick who each had seven points.
St. Joseph controlled the glass, especially on the offensive end, but could not convert, nearly doubling the Cardinals in shots taken but trailing in points the entire game.
"We just can't put the ball in the basket," St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall said. "You are not going to win games shooting 25 percent plain and simple. Credit to Greenwich and everything they did. They came and had the energy and we had no energy. I can't put my finger on it but right now we are shooting under 50 percent from the foul line and under 30 percent from the field and I can't figure out why."
The Cadets had more chances than Greenwich in the first quarter but trailed 12-6 after one and 20-18 at halftime.
St. Joseph would tie it a few times in the second half but was never able to take a lead after being up 2-0 early.
Greenwich coach Chrys Hernandez knew it would take contributions from everyone with two players out.
"I am very proud of the way they fought tonight. It was a complete team effort," she said. "We were down some key players and they stepped up. They put each other on their backs and said `I got you.' I knew (Rodriguez) was capable and a very strong player and when she starts believing in herself she is one of the toughest post players in the conference."
The Cadets got within 35-34 with 1:22 to go and had several chances to score but, as was the case all night, could not get their shots to fall and with 3.9 seconds left Rodriguez gathered another Cadets miss, was fouled and calmly stepped to the line and hit both shots.
"Got to make it or break it," Rodriguez said. "You got to do it because it's clutch. To seal the deal."
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Greenwich 37, St. Joseph 34
GREENWICH 12 8 6 11 -- 37
ST. JOSEPH 6 12 5 11 -- 34
Greenwich: Rebecca DeCarlo 0 0-0 0; Jamie Kockenmeister 1 2-2 4; Brittany Rodriguez 4 2-3 11; Alexa Moses 3 3-3 10; Caroline Barrett 3 1-3 7; Maureen Tracy 0 0-0 0; Rebecca Kural 0 0-0 0; Caroline Beneville 1 0-0 2; Leig Galletta 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 10-14 37
St. Joseph: Ana DoCarmo 1 0-0 3; Lauren DellaVecchia 1 0-0 2; Erin Johnson 1 2-2 4; Lauren Pitney 3 1-2 7; Mairead Donahue 2 0-0 4; Bridget Sharnick 0 0-2 0; Maite Gritsko 0 2-6 2; Chloe Dudzinski 2 1-1 5; Caitlin Sharnick 2 1-2 7. Totals: 12 7-15 34
3-point field goals: G -- Moses; SJ -- C. Sharnick 2, DoComo
Fouled out: None