STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (13-10, 7-3 GNAC) clipped Lasell College (9-14, 4-7 GNAC), 60-45, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball game at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday night. Junior forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) netted a game-high 17 points to help the Monks snap a three-game losing streak in the conference triumph.
Saint Joseph's overcame a sluggish start to bring an end to a three-game losing streak, as the Lasers scored the game's first five points and held the lead until the Monks recorded a scoring outburst late in the first half. Trailing 17-11 with 6:48 before the break, the Royal Blue rattled off 16 unanswered points over the following 5:30 and carried a 27-21 advantage into intermission.
Junior forward Abby Young (North Yarmouth, Maine) led all first-half scorers with nine points while freshman guard Molly Lauver (Cambridge, N.Y.) paced the Lasers with seven points in the first frame. Lasell shot 52.9% (9-17) from the floor before the break but the Monks, who shot just 32.3% (10-31) from the field in the first half, were able to overcome the shooting discrepancy with advantages in bench points (13-3) and second-chance points (9-2) in the opening 20 minutes.
Still a two-possession game, the Lasers cut the Monks' cushion down to four points – 27-23 – when sophomore forward Danielle Autencio (Montville, Conn.) hit a jumper 1:43 into the second stanza. The visitors would get no closer to the lead however, as hosts posted a 9-2 run and held a 36-25 cushion after Moore closed the burst with a bucket at the 15:36 mark.
As it turned out, the SJC scoring run was just the beginning. A Lauver hoop made it a 36-27 game nearly two minutes later, but Saint Joseph's continued the cluster-scoring trend with a 15-6 outburst en route to claiming a game-high 18-point (51-33) lead with 7:36 remaining.
Lasell managed to cut their deficit to 11 points (56-45) with 46 seconds remaining, but it would be too little, too late as Saint Joseph's coasted to a crucial conference triumph.
For the Monks, senior guard Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) registered 12 points, five boards, two assists and a pair of steals, Young netted 11 with two blocked shots, freshman center Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine) added seven points and 10 rebounds, and junior guard Mackenzie Dufour (Augusta, Maine) chipped in five points, eight assists, four caroms and a pair of steals.
For the Lasers, Autencio recorded an impressive double-double effort with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Lauver tallied 13 points, five boards, three assists, two blocks and a pair of steals in a losing effort.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 36.5% (23-63) from the field, 20% (4-20) from three-point land and 43.5% (10-23) from the free throw line. Lasell shot 38% (19-50) from the floor, 22.2% (2-9) from downtown and 50% (5-10) from the charity stripe in the conference contest.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 8-1 in the history of the series with Lasell College and has now defeated the Lasers in seven straight meetings dating back to the 2005-06 season.
In recognition of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Play4Kay initiative, both teams adorned pink warm-up tops and sported various types of pink apparel during the game. Play4Kay is named in honor of legendary North Carolina State University Head Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow, who passed away in 2009 after facing her third bout of breast cancer, and is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research. All gate proceeds, as well as funds generated by the Monks' tee-shirt sales leading up to the event, will be donated to the Maine Cancer Foundation.
Saint Joseph's will play at Albertus Magnus College on Thursday night at 5:30 PM while Lasell closes out GNAC play with a home contest versus Anna Maria College on Thursday in a 5:30 PM tip-off.
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 350-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.