STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (8-5, 2-0 GNAC) defeated Norwich University (6-8, 1-2 GNAC), 74-65, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) recorded her second career double-double with 12 points and a personal-best 16 rebounds in the Monks' victory.
Saint Joseph's held at least a share of the lead for the vast majority of play as the Cadets' only advantages came during the opening minutes. The Monks displayed strong fundamentals, as the hosts doubled-up the visitors in free throws made (22-11) and held a sizeable 41-28 rebounds advantage en route to earning the important conference win.
St. Joe's also shot 54.5% (6-11) from three-point distance and used the long ball to extend the lead during several game-changing scoring surges throughout the contest.
With the game tied at 12-apiece and 13 minutes on the first-half game clock, the Monks managed to post an 11-1 run and held a 23-12 lead after Moore made a layup at the 8:05 mark. With aggressive play and several fast breaks led by sophomore point guard Kristin Brown (Williamstown, Vt.), the Cadets were able to stay in the game and trailed by four, 26-22, when freshman guard Aliah Curry (Windsor, Mass.) converted a fast break layup with 4:58 left in the first half.
One of the key plays of the afternoon occurred late in the opening stanza when junior guard Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) hit a three-pointer while being fouled by Kelsey Knapp '12 (Brandon, Vt.). She walked to the charity stripe and, with a freebie, pushed the Monks' lead to 34-24 with 2:38 before the break.
Norwich was unfazed by what could have been a huge momentum swing for the hosts, as the Cadets rattled off six unanswered points – four from junior guard Jessalyn Sweeney (Stanfordville, N.Y.) – to cut their deficit to 34-30 going into halftime.
In the first half, St. Joe's shot 50% from the floor, 50% from downtown, and 60% from the FT line while Norwich shot 42.9% from the field, and 66.7% from the charity stripe while missing all six shots from beyond the arc.
SJC senior guard Allie Parent (Camden, Maine) led all first half scorers with 10 points while Curry paced the Cadets with seven points in the opening 20 minutes.
The opening of the second stanza featured fast-paced back and forth play as the conference counterparts combined to score 31 points in the first five minutes of the closing half. The teams essentially traded punches until Norwich knotted the game at 46-apiece with a layup from senior forward Jocelyn Fasulo (Contoocook, N.H.) with 12:20 remaining.
Saint Joseph's sophomore point guard Mackenzie Dufour (Augusta, Maine) and Norwich senior forward Tara Stevenson (Watertown, Conn.) both made a pair of free throws over the next two minutes to maintain the deadlock score, but a Shufelt trifecta at the 9:07 mark capped a 6-0 SJC run and lifted the Royal Blue to a 56-50 lead.
The Cadets fought back yet again as five straight points off the fingertips of Curry cut the SJC lead down to 56-55 with 7:49 left. Moore and Brown traded layups as the one-point contest held just over a minute later, but the Monks recorded another scoring burst and led by seven, 64-57, after freshman guard Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine) hit a pair of free throws at the 3:28 mark.
Norwich battled to the end, but St. Joe's went 10-12 from the FT line in the closing minutes to preserve the victory.
For the Monks, McDevitt netted a game-high 19 points and went 3-4 from three-point distance, Parent added 13 points, four boards, three assists, and two steals, and Shufelt contributed 11 points off the bench. Senior center Ashley Geel (St. George, Maine) recorded eight points and four boards and Dufour dealt five assists in the victory.
McDevitt's final three-pointer of the game, made with 5:32 remaining in the game, was the 150th trifecta of her career. One of the finest long-range shooters in program history, McDevitt ranks fourth in the SJC annals in both threes made (150) and three-point efficiency (38.3%) and fifth in three-pointers attempted (392).
For the Cadets, Curry netted 18 points while Sweeney and Stevenson both scored 11 in a losing effort.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 43.1% (25-58) from the field, 54.5% (6-11) from three-point distance, and 73.3% (22-30) from the free throw line. Norwich shot 43.1% (25-58) from the floor, 21.1% (4-19) from downtown, and 73.3% (11-15) from the FT line.
Saint Joseph's held advantages in rebounds (41-28), points off turnovers (17-16), points in the paint (24-22), and second-chance points (17-4).
With the win, St. Joe's improves to 12-6 in the history of the series with Norwich University and has now defeated the Cadets in back to back meetings. The Monks' 74 points in today's contest is the most versus the Cadets since St. Joe's earned a 78-50 win over Norwich on February 20th, 2000.
Moore's impressive effort on the glass yielded one of the highest individual rebound totals in recent SJC women's basketball history. No Monks player over the past 12 seasons has amassed 16 rebounds. Current Assistant Coach Meghan Daigle '11 hauled in 15 boards versus Emerson College on February 18th, 2010 and the program single-game record is held by 2011 SJC Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Margaret (O'Brion) McDevitt '82, who pulled down 26 caroms against Maine-Farmington on March 3rd, 1982.
Both teams host conference contests at 5:30 PM on Monday, as Saint Josephs' takes on Mount Ida College and Norwich faces Rivier College.