STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (13-3, 4-0 GNAC) rallied to defeat Norwich University (7-8, 1-3 GNAC), 73-61, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball action at the Harold AlfondHarold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon. Senior forward Abby Young (North Yarmouth, Maine) netted a career-high 26 points and pulled down 10 boards in the victory.
Trailing 49-43 with 14:06 remaining, the Monks reeled off a 13-2 run over the following five minutes to claim a lead they would not relinquish. The Cadets threatened to reclaim the advantage several minutes later, but the hosts all but clinched the victory with an 11-4 outburst during the closing seven minutes. Saint Joseph's has now won six-consecutive contests, a win streak that includes four conference victories.
For the Monks, senior forward Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) tallied 15 points – all in the second half – with seven rebounds, sophomore center Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine) added 11 points and seven boards, and freshman guard Emily Kehoe (Perkinsville, Vt.) contributed six points and a pair of assists on the afternoon.
For the Cadets, junior guard Aliah Curry (Windsor, Mass.) poured in 24 points with five assists, freshman forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) recorded 15 points and eight caroms, junior guard Kelsey Lotti (South Yarmouth, Mass.) added 11 points, four assists and three rebounds and junior forward Katrina Laidlaw (Dunblane, Scotland) chipped in with three points and four rebounds in a losing bid.
Saint Joseph's opened the conference contest with seven unanswered points and led 17-7 when junior guard Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine) converted a layup with 12:59 left in the opening period. The cushion quickly vanished however, as the shots stopped falling for the hosts and the opposite occurred for the visitors during the next 10 minutes, a span during which the Cadets posted a 22-5 run. Laidlaw capped the outburst when she made a free throw to lift her squad to a 29-22 advantage with 3:07 before the break.
The Monks cut their deficit down to 32-31 over the following 1:18 of play, as Young, Kehoe and freshman Danica Gleason (South Portland, Maine) all drained three-pointers to make it a one-point game. During the final minute of the half, Curry responded with a trifecta of her own and Young made a layup off an Assante pass to account for the 35-33 score going into intermission.
Curry hit a three-pointer to start the second stanza and LeBlanc lifted the Cadets to a 40-33 lead with a layup at the 18:47 mark, but Cahill made a bucket and connected on a pair of freebies and Moore drained a jumper with 17:01 left to cut the hosts deficit down to one point (40-39).
The Cadets' lead grew to six points (49-43) after Lotti made a three-pointer and hit a free throw after being fouled on the play with 14:06 to play. Young ignited the aforementioned SJC comeback with a three-pointer, her second of the game, just eight seconds later.
Saint Joseph's hosts University of New England on Monday at 7:00 PM while Norwich plays at Lyndon State College on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's is now 14-6 all-time against Norwich University…the Monks have defeated the Cadets in four-consecutive meetings dating back to the 2010-11 season…Abby Young's 26 points in today's win is the most scored by an SJC player this season…no SJC player has scored as many points since Lindsay Moore netted the same total versus Johnson & Wales on January 21st, 2012…the double-double effort was her second of the season and fifth of her career…Mackenzie Dufour scored her 400th career point and Skyler Makkinje netted her 100th point in the victory…Moore surpassed the 900-point plateau with her first bucket of the afternoon.
Saint Joseph's is 49-14 in the history of the series with University of New England, but the Monks have not defeated the Nor'easters since 2005 and have lost nine in a row to their in-state rival…UNE is 14-2 overall and 9-1 in Commonwealth Coast Conference games this winter.
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.