PAXTON, MA – Senior guard Megan McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) netted a career-high 23 points off a 9-13 shooting performance to help lift Saint Joseph's (15-6, 9-0 GNAC) past Anna Maria College (5-16, 1-8 GNAC), 71-58, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball contest on Saturday afternoon.
McDevitt, who made five three-pointers on eight shots from downtown in the victory, entered today's action having never scored more than 19 in a collegiate contest – a tally she has totaled six times in her career.
The only lead the AMCATS would own came in the opening minutes when Sam Ashton (Worcester, Mass.) kicked off the game scoring with a bucket at the 18:33 mark. The Monks responded with a 10-2 run that saw the Royal Blue secure a 10-4 cushion after Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) drained a shot from beyond the arc seven minutes later.
St. Joe's led by 15 points (30-15) when freshman sharpshooter Nicolette Kapothanasis (Westbrook, Maine/Portland) netted a three-pointer with 3:13 remaining in the first half. The Monks cruised into halftime with a 32-13 advantage.
Despite a 3-11 effort from the field, Ashton paced all first-half scorers with eight points while McDevitt led the SJC stable with seven points over the opening 20 minutes of play.
Saint Joseph's shot an even 50% from the field while shooting 42.9% from downtown and 50% from the free throw line in the first half. Anna Maria countered by shooting 28.6% from the field and 605% from the charity stripe while missing all six bids from three-point distance.
The second stanza featured a different look however, as the conference counterparts managed to put up 39 points apiece while shooting 60% (27-45) combined from the field – including a 58.8% (10-17) performance from three-point range – in the closing period.
St. Joe's led by 18 (37-19) after sophomore point guard Mackenzie Dufour (Augusta, Maine) hit a trifecta 1:35 into the latter half, but the hosts chipped away at the deficit with nine unanswered points and trailed 37-28 when Chelsea Blair (Holland, Mass.) converted a traditional three-point play to close the surge.
McDevitt countered with her second three-pointer of the afternoon on the Monks' following possession, but the AMCATS remained in play and trailed by eight (47-39) after Amanda Hevy (North Brookfield, Mass.) drained a three with 9:49 remaining.
With the help of several Anna Maria turnovers, Saint Joseph's was able to seize control of the contest by way of a 13-0 outbreak over the next 2:42 of play. Sophomore forward Abby Young (North Yarmouth, Maine) sparked the SJC run with a pair of quick buckets and McDevitt netted five during her team's scoring stretch.
A McDevitt trifecta at the 5:19 mark saw the Monks secure a game-high 24-point lead (67-43). The AMCATS went 8-8 from the charity stripe and outscored the Royal Blue by a 15-4 margin in the closing minutes, but the offensive burst proved to be too little, too late for the hosts.
For the Monks, Young scored 14 points and shot 6-8 from the field off the bench, sophomore forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) produced eight points, senior forward Allie Parent (Camden, Maine) registered six points, four steals and three assists, and Dufour tallied five points and five dimes on the afternoon. Kapothanasis and senior center Ashley Geel (St. George, Maine) both netted five points in the victory.
Parent, who recorded 112 assists as a freshman at Rivier College, recorded the 300th assist of her career in the victory and is the 18th player in GNAC history to reach the landmark. McDevitt netted a three-pointer at the 8:20 mark of the second half on Parent's milestone assist.
Blair paced four AMCATS in double digits with 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Ashton added 12 points and nine caroms in the setback. Alison McCarthy (Lynn, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points and Kayla Cummings (Auburn, Maine) contributed 11 for the hosts.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 54.7% (29-53) from the floor, 50% (8-16) from downtown, and 83.3% (5-6) from the FT line. Anna Maria shot 41.7% (20-48) from the field, 35.7% (5-14) from three-point range, and 59.1% (13-22) from the charity stripe in a losing effort.
With the win St. Joe's improves to 2-0 in the history of the series with Anna Maria College – a new addition to the GNAC this year. Prior to this afternoon the Monks and AMCATS had not played since the 1982-83 campaign when SJC defeated AMC by a 90-58 margin.
Both programs will host a conference contest on Tuesday night when St. Joe's takes on Pine Manor College at 7:00 PM and Anna Maria faces Saint Joseph (Conn.) at 5:30 PM.
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.