NASHUA, NH – Rivier University (8-5, 2-0 GNAC) surged in the second half to defeat Saint Joseph's (7-6, 1-1 GNAC), 74-63, in GNAC women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
The game – a rematch of a 2012 GNAC Tournament semifinal - was a back and forth battle that saw several lead changes, with the last one coming at the 11:41 mark when Rivier junior Ryan Baker (Whitinsville, Mass.) knocked down a jumper to give the Raiders a lead they would not relinquish.
The Monks led by as many as 13 points and carried a 36-27 advantage into intermission, but the Raiders shot 55.2% from the floor, including a 55.6% effort from three-point distance, and held a game-high 14-point lead with 46 seconds remaining.
For Saint Joseph's, freshman center Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine) totaled a game-high 22 points with six rebounds, senior guard Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) netted 21 with five assists and a pair of steals, sophomore guard Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine) chipped in six points and five boards, and junior forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) pulled down eight rebounds in a losing bid. Junior Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) registered eight caroms, four steals and three assists for the visitors.
According to records available at the time of release, the Monks have not had a pair of players score at least 20 points in the same contest since Stacey Gelinas '02 and Sue Picard '02 scored 25 and 21, respectively, in a victory over Plymouth State on December 10th, 2001.
All five starters scored in double-digits for the Raiders, including Baker who put up a solid all-round effort with 15 points, eight boards and seven assists. Juniors A.J. Guidi (Derry, N.H.) and Erin Sweeney (Chicopee, Mass.) both added 13 points while sophomore Deanna Purcell (Hudson, N.H.) and junior Laura Yesu (Longmeadow, Mass.) netted 11 and 10, respectively.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 6-4 in the history of the series with Rivier University.
Both programs will be back in GNAC action on Tuesday night, as the Raiders will look to stay undefeated in the conference with a 5pm tip-off at Anna Maria College. Saint Joseph's will host Simmons College in a 5:30 tip-off.
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.