Northfield, Vt. – Saint Joseph's College (20-4, 14-1 GNAC) slipped past Norwich University (14-9, 8-7 GNAC), 68-67, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball action on Tuesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
In a key conference contest featuring 15 lead changes and 11 tie scores where neither team held a lead greater than five points, the Monks managed to claim the last advantage of the night when sophomore guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) nailed a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to account for the 68-67 final.
Saint Joseph's held a 62-61 edge after junior forward Brianne Maloney (South Portland, Maine) made a layup with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter, but the field goal turned out to be the Monks' last of the evening as the conference counterparts traded free throws down the stretch.
With one second left, Paige McNally (Barre, Vt.) layup lifted the Cadets to a 67-66 edge, but – after an SJC timeout moved the ball into the Monks' offensive end - Champagne was fouled on a clean break to the basket and drained both freebies under the most pressure-packed circumstances.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Champagne paced the Monks with 19 points after going 9-10 from the free throw line and picked up two rebounds and a pair of steals
- Sophomore guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) contributed 17 points, two boards, four assists, and three steals
- Senior guard Emily Kehoe (Perkinsville, Vt.) added 12 points with three caroms in 20 minutes off the bench
- Sophomore guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) chipped in with seven points
- Sophomore forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) tallied six points and eight rebounds with a pair of assists
LEADERS – NORWICH:
- Senior forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) netted 22 points with 11 caroms and a pair of blocked shots and was 10-11 from the field
- McNally notched 19 points with 13 rebounds – including 11 on the offensive glass – with two steals off the bench
- Junior guard Shyann Josler (Thetford Center, Vt.) chipped in with seven points, four rebounds, five assists, and a pair of steals
Both teams complete the regular-season schedule this Saturday, when Saint Joseph's hosts Simmons College and Norwich travels to Lasell College. Both GNAC games are slated for 1:00 PM tip-offs.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.