NEW HAVEN, CT – Saint Joseph's (14-10, 8-3 GNAC) clinched an important GNAC victory over Albertus Magnus College (18-6, 6-5 GNAC), 76-64, on Thursday night. Junior forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) netted a game-high 24 points off a 10-15 effort from the field in the conference triumph.
In a contest that featured 12 score changes and was tied on 11 occasions, it would be the Monks who would claim the final advantage of the night midway through the second half. With the game tied at 49 apiece and 10:09 remaining in regulation, Moore proceeded to drop three unanswered buckets and scored 10 during a 14-4 Saint Joseph's run that ended with the visitors owning a 63-53 cushion after junior Abby Young (North Yarmouth, Maine) converted a layup at the 5:19 mark.
From this point forward, the Monks held at least a seven-point lead and went on to capture a game-high 13-point margin when senior Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) made a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left.
In a closely-contested matchup, neither team held a lead of more than six points until Moore tapped in a layup to lift the visitors to an eight-point (59-51) advantage with 7:06 remaining.
Saint Joseph's raced out of the gates to the tune of a 7-1 lead after just over two minutes of play, but the Falcons soon responded with a 13-4 outburst, which junior forward Annie Raucci (Milford, Conn.) capped with a layup to provide her team with a 14-11 edge with 12:48 before the break. The conference contest featured six lead changes and four tie scores over the remainder of the half with Albertus carrying a slim 33-32 advantage going into intermission.
Falcons senior forward Kendrea Walker (New Haven, Conn.) led all first-half scorers with 11 points while St. Joe's freshman center Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine) netted 10 in the first 20 minutes for the visitors.
The Monks, seeking a victory to gain some breathing room in the conference standings, went on to play one of their best halves of the season en route to achieving the objective. With a subpar 0-6 three-point shooting effort in the first frame, Saint Joseph's attempted just two shots from downtown in the latter period and turned to post-players Moore, Young and Cahill to turn the tide. Led by this trio – which made 14 of 20 shots in the closing 20 minutes; the Monks shot a scorching 68% (17-25) from the field and 75% (9-12) from the FT line while dealing 11 assists and committing seven turnovers in the second half.
Also of note, Shufelt, Moore and Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine) combined to go 7-8 from the stripe in the final minute to help squelch the Falcons' hopes of a comeback.
For the Monks, Young tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks, Cahill added 14 points and seven boards and Shufelt contributed seven points, six assists and four caroms. Assante chipped in seven points and four rebounds, Mackenzie Dufour (Augusta, Maine) posted five points, two assists and a pair of steals and Skyler Makkinje (Hillsboro, N.H.) came off the bench to grab three steals in the victory.
For the Falcons, Walker registered an impressive double-double with 23 points and 14 caroms to go along with four steals and two dimes and junior guard Lianna Carrero (Hampden, Conn.) added 14 points and six assists in a losing effort.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 52.5% (31-59) from the floor, 12.5% (1-8) from three-point range and 72.2% (13-18) from the FT line. Albertus Magnus shot 39.4% (28-71) from the field, 22.2% (2-9) from long distance and 46.2% (6-13) from the stripe on the evening.
With the victory, St. Joe's improves to 8-0 in the history of the series with Albertus Magnus College, a conference counterpart the Monks defeated by an 89-51 margin in their last meeting, which was a GNAC Tournament quarterfinal contest at the Harold Alfond Center on February 21st, 2012.
With one conference game remaining, the Monks currently sit in the #3 spot in the GNAC standings behind Emmanuel College (19-5, 11-0 GNAC) and Suffolk University (19-5, 10-1 GNAC). Tiebreakers notwithstanding, Rivier University, Emerson College and Johnson & Wales each own a 7-4 conference record and sit in a three-way tie for the fourth, and final, host seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament, which begins with a quarterfinal round next Tuesday.
Saint Joseph's will close the regular season and host Senior Day festivities – honoring the program's two seniors, Shufelt and Alyssa Grigware (Biddeford, Maine) – when Emerson College comes to town on Saturday for a 1:00 PM tip-off. Albertus also finishes regular-season play on Saturday when the Falcons travel to Johnson & Wales University, a game that also begins at 1:00 PM.
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.