BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Saint Joseph's College (Maine) women's basketball team to a 65-57 Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory over host Simmons College this afternoon at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, MA. The Monks win their eighth straight game to improve to 15-2 overall and a perfect 9-0 versus GNAC opponents, while the Sharks fall to 5-8 and 5-3.
Benway commanded the paint for Saint Joseph's adding two blocks and a steal to her double-double. Sophomore point guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) returned to her home state to contribute 13 points, including 3-6 from downtown, while handing out five assists and classmate Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in with 13 points, eight boards, three assists and one takeaway.
Simmons was led by senior forwards Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) and Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.), who each posted double-doubles of 16 points and 10 rebounds and 15 points and 12 rebounds, respectively. Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) also pitched in with 15 points, three steals and two assists. Junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) finished the day with three blocks to give her 82 for her career to become the program's all-time leader in rejections after moving past Kristen Lucek (2002-06). She also added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Sharks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the opening frame on a jumper from Zoldy and a free throw from McAdams and did not trail for the first five minutes of the game. The Monks responded with eight straight points, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) to make the score 8-3. The teams traded baskets with the quarter ending with Saint Joseph's maintaining an 11-5 margin.
After Marks opened the second quarter scoring for with Monks a layup, Simmons enjoyed an 8-1 run to cut the deficit to one at 14-13 with 5:31 showing in the second period. McAdams hit four free throws in that time span, while Brasa and Zoldy each made buckets. The Monks responded with a crucial 13-2 run, including a pair of three-pointers in a span of 14 seconds from Marks and McNamara, after taking advantage of a foul following Marks' triple. Saint Joseph's took a 10-point lead into halftime at, 29-19, thanks to a 12-0 margin in points off turnovers for the quarter.
The third quarter began with a flurry of baskets, two each by Zoldy and Benway for their respective teams. The Monks ultimately went on a 12-6 run to open up a 13-point lead (41-28) at 4:56 in the third quarter, led by five points by Champagne. The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the frame with Benway hitting a layup with six seconds left to extend the visitors' lead to 15 points at 55-40.
The Monks experienced their biggest lead of the ballgame when first year guard Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) converted on a layup 2:45 into the last stanza to make it 60-42 and an 18-point margin. The Sharks were able to cut the deficit to eight points at 63-55, with 63 seconds remaining, thanks to a 13-3 run. McAdams fueled the run with six points, but that's as close as the home team would get as Saint Joseph's was able to hold on for the win, 65-57.
Simmons will be back in action on Tuesday, January 24 when it travels to GNAC foe University of Saint Joseph's (Conn.) in West Hartford, Conn. for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off, while the Monks travel to Biddeford, Maine to take on University of New England on January 23, for a non-conference match at 7:00 p.m.
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 474-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.