STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (18-5, 8-1 GNAC) surged past Norwich University (13-10, 5-5 GNAC), 70-62, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball contest at the Harold Alfond Center this afternoon.
The conference counterparts played through four tie scores and swapped the lead on eight occasions, with the last swing going to the Monks by way of a 13-0 run – spanning two minutes and 47 seconds - to start the fourth quarter.
Trailing 47-45 heading into the final frame, Saint Joseph's received a pair of three-pointers from freshman guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.), two buckets from senior center Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine), and a trifecta from sophomore guard Emily Quirion (Augusta, Maine), accounting for 13 unanswered points which lifted the hosts to a 58-47 lead with 7:13 remaining.
Unwilling to go down without a fight, the Cadets faced a 13-point deficit (65-52) with 5:38 left and mounted an impressive comeback bid, outscoring the Monks by a 9-1 margin over the following four minutes to make it a 66-62 game with 1:11 on the clock. With time running out, Cahill hit a jumper and junior forward Molly Mack (Portland, Maine/McAuley) drilled a pair of free throws to keep Norwich at bay.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S
- McNamara led all scores with 20 points and registered the first double-double of her collegiate career with 11 assists
- Cahill tallied 13 points, eight rebounds, and five blocked shots
- Junior guard Emily Kehoe (Perkinsville, Vt.) produced 13 points, five boards, two assists, and a pair of steals
- Quirion came off the bench to net seven points off a 2-3 three-point shooting performance in eight minutes
- Freshman guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) netted seven points with two boards, two assists, and two steals
- Junior guard Abbie Eastman (Norway, Maine) pulled down five rebounds
LEADERS – NORWICH
- Sophomore guard Shyann Josler (Thetford, Vt.) led five Norwich players in double digits with 13 points and added six assists
- Junior forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) notched a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass
- Sophomore forward Arianna Harrison (Vernon, Vt.) netted 12 points with eight caroms and three assists
- Junior guard Kayla Mercer (New Britain, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points
- Freshman forward Vanessa Fleury (Lebanon, N.H.) added 10 points
Saint Joseph's shot 45.5% (25-55) from the field, 55.6% (10-18) from three-point range, and 58.8% (10-17) from the free throw line while Norwich countered with performances of 34.4% (21-61), 32% (8-25), and 80% (12-15) from the floor, three-point land, and the charity stripe on the afternoon.
The Monks held advantages in assists (20-16), blocked shots (6-2), points in the paint (18-16), and bench points (21-4) while the Cadets led in rebounding (37-34), turnovers (16-17), points off turnovers (16-14), and second-chance points (14-7).
Prior to the start of the contest, the women's basketball program held a brief ceremony to honor the team's lone senior – Morgan Cahill – a four-year starter who has registered 1,562 points, 833 rebounds, 211 blocked shots, 118 assists, and 97 steals over 104 career contests. Cahill has garnered 59 individual honors during her career, including 2013 GNAC Rookie of the Year, 2013 Maine Rookie of the Year, and three All-GNAC and All-State accolades over the last four seasons.
McNamara's assist total in today's win is the second-highest tally since 2000, as Stacey Gelinas '02 – who dealt 12 dimes versus Maine-Presque Isle on January 12th, 2002 - is the only SJC player to hand out more helpers in a game in the last 17 seasons…Sarah Assante '15 also posted 11 assists versus Lasell last winter…the Monks' 55.6% three-point rate in the win over Norwich is the team's best in the last 17 seasons…with 13 points today, Cahill now ranks fourth in program history in scoring with 1,562 points…with her final bucket this afternoon, the senior center surpassed former great Linda Johnson '81 – who totaled 1,560 points in 79 career games…Kehoe scored her 400th career point in today's win.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 16-7 in the history of the series with Norwich University, a team that defeated the Monks by a 62-51 margin in Northfield, Vermont last season.
Both teams hit the road Tuesday, when Saint Joseph's plays at Simmons College in a GNAC tilt starting at 7:00 PM and Norwich travels to MCLA for a non-conference contest, which also begins at 7:00 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 430-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.