|Saint Joseph's College||Simmons|
BOSTON, Mass. – Junior point guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) netted a game-high 24 points to lead the Saint Joseph’s College (Maine) women’s basketball team over host Simmons College, 62-38, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Monks extend their win streak to 11 straight games and improve to 12-1 overall, including a perfect 5-0 in league play, while the Sharks fall to 1-8 and 1-3. The win streak is the longest for St. Joseph’s since a 13-game success stretch from November 20, 1998 to January 13, 1999.
The Monks took advantage of 28 Simmons turnovers, including 18 in the first half, to outscore their hosts, 26-10 in points off turnovers and committed just 10 fouls to the Sharks’ total of 21. The Saint Joseph’s defense held Simmons to just 28.6% (16-56) shooting as well.
McNamara was 8-15 from the floor, including 4-9 from three-point range and added four assists, two rebounds and a career-high six steals for the Monks, while junior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal. Junior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) was a point short of a double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds to go with a steal and an assist.
Senior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) led the Sharks with 11 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a trio of blocks to go with two assists and junior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) finished with seven points, four rebounds and a steal in 21 minutes off the bench.
Saint Joseph’s never trailed in the game and jumped out to a 14-4 advantage with 4:08 left in the opening quarter, behind nine points from McNamara. Junior forward Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) later made a layup to give the Monks a 21-8 cushion, before first year guard Carli Koffinke (Franklin, Mass.) knocked down a three-pointer for Simmons to set the score at 21-11 for the quarter.
Saint Joseph’s defensive effort held the Sharks scoreless for the first 6:38 of the second quarter, while the Monks scored 13 unanswered points, including five from Champagne, to take a 32-11 lead. First year forward Julia LaMontagne (Amesbury, Mass.) ended the scoring drought for Simmons with a jumper at 3:22 to make it 32-13. The teams played even for the remainder of the period before Saint Joseph’s took a 38-17 lead into the intermission, bolstered by a 20-5 advantage in points off turnovers for the half.
McNamara canned a trifecta to open the second stanza and give the Monks a 41-17 margin at the 8:48 mark of the third quarter. The Sharks responded with an 8-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to pull to within 43-25 with 4:30 to go in the period. Saint Joseph’s came back with nine straight points, including five from McNamara, to take its largest lead of the night at 52-25 with 84 seconds left in the period.
Benway later hit a pair of free throws to give the visitors a 54-28 lead at 6:41 of the final quarter, but Simmons put together a 10-3 burst, fueled by a pair of three pointers from junior guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.), to cut the deficit to 57-38 with 2:01 showing on the fourth quarter clock. The trey was the last shot the home team made as the Monks scored the final five points to take home a 62-38 victory.
The Sharks return to action on Saturday, January 13 when they head to Weston, Mass. to take on GNAC foe Regis (Mass.) for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off, while Saint Joseph’s heads to Nashua, N.H. to play league rival Rivier University at 1:00 p.m.