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.
Emmanuel is also back this weekend, traveling to West Hartford, Conn. on Saturday afternoon for a 1:00 PM GNAC affair vs. University of Saint Joseph.
*Release courtesy of Saint Joseph's College (ME) Sports Information Office