FAIRFIELD —Cassi Barbato scored 17 points to lead Trumbull to its 61-36 victory over St. Joseph in the opening game of the Playing For a Cure doubleheader at Fairfield University’s Alumni Hall on Friday.

Barbato, game to game, is the top scorer for coach Steve Tobitsch’s Eagles. It wasn’t her point total — it was when the junior guard provided them— that provided seperation in this matchup between FCIAC and town rivals.

Trumbull improved to 13-3 overall and moved to 10-2 in the FCIAC by breaking the game open in the third quarter against the Cadets (12-5, 8-5 FCIAC).

The Eagles extended a 23-17 halftime advantage to 28-17 in the first 27 seconds after intermission.

Barbato and Emma Gentry doubled the ball, with Gentry taking control and passoing forward to Barbato for a layup.

On the next play, it was Maeve Hampford getting the steal by jumping a pass just past midcourt and feeding Barbato for a three-point play.

“We wanted to more aggressive (out of the half),” Tobitsch said. “They had us back on our heels a bit in the second quarter.”

Trumbull outscored St. Joe’s 19-10 the rest of the period to take a healthy 47-27 lead into the final frame.

The Eagles broke on top with Barbato scoring the game’s first two buckets, on assists from Emi Roberto. Hampford had 4 points and Julia Lindwall a 3-pointer for a 15-6 lead.

Trumbull’s help-side defense collapsed on Kirsten Rodriguez in the middle, and trapped in the corner, to make things difficult for coach Chris Lindwall’s Cadets.

It was 17-8 when St. Joseph went on a 7-2 run midway through the stanza to recover from a 17-8 deficit. Erika Stephens had 5 points during the stretch and Rodriguez (8 points) tallied inside.

Grace Lesko and Roberto swished home consecutive threes to regain momentum.

St. Joe’s stayed at it and scored the last two baskets of the first half — on buckets by Rahmia Johnston and Elizabeth Adzima — to make it a 6-point game at the break.

Julia Lindwall made a pair of 3-pointers, and Roberto knocked down another, when Trumbull scored on 6 of 7 possessions to go in front 43-26 with 2:34 to play in the third.

“She (Lindwall) stretched the floor for us,” Tobitsch said of the junior guard. “Julia is a terrific jump shooter and she made some big shots for us. That left lanes for others to drive to the basket.”

Roberto scored 13 points and Lindwall finished with 11.

QUOTABLE

“I’m very impressed with our senior captain Maeve Hampford. She gives us leadership and balance on the court — Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354

TRUMBULL 61, ST. JOSEPH 36

TRUMBULL (13-3, 10-2 FCIAC))

Emma Gentry 2 0-0 4, Emi Roberto 5 1-1 13, Sarah Stolze 1 0-0 2, Amanda Ruchulski 1 0-0 2, Maeve Hampford 2 2-5 6, Sam Guimont 0 1-2 1, Julia Lindwall 4 0-0 11, Cassi Barbato 8 1-1 17, Grace Lesko 2 0-0 5

TOTALS 25 5-9 61

ST. JOSEPH (12-5, 8-5)

Veronica Lubas 0 0-2 0, Kate Rudini 1 3-8 5, Erika Stephens 3 1-3 7, Raymia Johnston 2 2-2 6, Kirsten Rodriguez 2 4-4 8, Kayleigh Carson 0 2-2 2, McKenna Hedman 1 0-0 2, Elizabeth Adzima 3 0-0 6

TOTALS 12 12-21 36

TRUMBULL 15 8 24 14 61

ST. JOSEPH 6 11 10 9 36

3-Pointers: Trumbull — Julia Lindwall 3, Emi Roberto 2, Grace Lesko 1