STANDISH, Maine - #8/11 Saint Joseph’s College (22-0, 10-0 GNAC) withstood a late rally to defeat Emmanuel College (17-5, 8-1 GNAC), 79-69, in a battle of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s basketball heavyweights at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph’s, ranked eighth and 11th nationally in this week’s D3hoops.com and WBCA national polls, respectively, came out of the gates strong and held a game-high 20-point (34-14) lead after senior guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) drained a three-pointer with 7:07 left in the second quarter. The Monks carried a 47-31 lead into intermission after shooting an even 50% (17-34) from the floor in the first two quarters combined.
Emmanuel dominated the third quarter, however, and methodically climbed back into the game by shooting 69.2% (9-13) from the field en route to outscoring the Monks by a 22-8 margin in the penultimate period.
The Saints closed out the third frame on a 16-4 run to cut the SJC lead down to 55-53 and tied the game on their first possession in the fourth quarter when senior center Mary McCarthy (Scituate, Mass.) connected on a layup attempt.
With the help of three trifectas from Marks, the Monks mounted an 18-6 surge to claim a 73-61 cushion with 1:24 remaining. The Saints cut their deficit down to eight points (75-67) after freshman guard Molly deBettencourt (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) drilled a pair of three-pointers in a matter of 30 seconds, but Marks and senior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) combined to go 4-for-4 from the FT line to close out the game.
With a layup at the 6:25 mark of the second quarter, senior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) became the 25th member of the Monks’ 1,000-Point Club. She entered tonight’s contest nine points shy of the four-digit mark and finished the evening with 11 points. McNamara was credited with the assist on Champagne’s milestone bucket.
Champagne joins a pair of classmates – McNamara and Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) – in the SJC 1,000-Point Club, marking the first time in program history that three members of the same graduating class have netted 1,000 or more career points.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Saint Joseph’s scored 30 points off 21 Emmanuel turnovers…The Saints scored eight points on nine Monk miscues on the evening.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH’S:
McNamara led all players with 30 points and added eight assists, three steals, three rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots
Marks added 21 points off a 5-for-12 three-point shooting performance and added four rebounds and four assists
Champagne chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds, and three steals
Sophomore guard Jordan Jabar (Waterville, Maine) contributed nine points and nine rebounds – including six on the offensive glass
Benway added eight points and eight caroms
LEADERS – EMMANUEL:
Junior Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.) scored 17 points with eight rebounds and a pair of assists
Senior guard Madison McLaughlin (Westerly, R.I.) netted 15 points with six caroms and six assists
McCarthy notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards
deBettencourt came off the bench to score 12 points and was 3-6 from downtown over 15 minutes
BEYOND THE BOX:
The Monks have now won 47-consecutive home games
St. Joe’s has won 28-consecutive regular-season contests versus conference opponents
With the victory, Saint Joseph’s improves to 7-17 in the history of the series with Emmanuel College and has now defeated the Saints in five-consecutive meetings.
Saint Joseph’s returns to action on Sunday with a non-conference home contest versus UMaine-Fort Kent. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 PM.