STANDISH, ME - #2 Saint Joseph's College (21-5) defeated #7 Lasell College (12-14), 63-50, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday evening. Senior forward Abby Young (North Yarmouth, Maine) tallied 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds in the victory.
With the win, Saint Joseph's advances to the semifinal round of the GNAC Tournament for the fourth-consecutive season and will host #3 Rivier University - which defeated #6 University of Saint Joseph, 79-62, in other quarterfinal action tonight - on Thursday at 5:30 PM. For Lasell, the loss signals the end of the 2013-14 season.
As is often the case, ball security and free throw shooting played significant roles in the outcome of tonight's contest. Saint Joseph's did well on both fronts, scoring 21 points off 28 Lasell turnovers while shooting 19-27 from the charity stripe on the evening. The Lasers managed to shoot 75% of their freebies, but went to the line just 12 times, converting nine shots, in the loss.
A closely-contested first half witnessed 10 lead changes with the Monks taking the final advantage on a Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine) layup with 22 seconds before the break to provide the hosts with a 29-27 edge going into intermission.
Saint Joseph's extended the cushion to seven in the opening minutes of the second stanza when Mackenzie Dufour (Augusta, Maine) drained a three pointer and Morgan Cahill (Yarmouth, Maine) converted a layup to make it a 34-27 game with 18:12 remaining.
The conference counterparts proceeded to essentially trade buckets for the following 10 minutes, as the visiting Lasers maintained a two-possession deficit during the span.
Junior forward Alexis Chappell (Springfield, Mass.) hit a layup to cut the Lasers' deficit down to 46-42 with 7:49 to play, but Saint Joseph's finally managed to put the game out of reach with a 13-0 run over the following five minutes. Five different players scored for the hosts during the outburst, which was closed out by a Cahill layup to lift the Monks to a game-high 17-point (59-42) lead with 3:06 left.
For Saint Joseph's, Cahill neared a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, Dufour added 13 points, Assante and Abbie Eastman (Norway, Maine) contributed eight points apiece, and Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) chipped in with six rebounds and a pair of steals in the victory.
For Lasell, sophomore guard Molly Lauver (Cambridge, N.Y.) netted a game-high 19 points with nine rebounds, Chappell tallied 16 points and eight caroms and senior guard Kayla Vincelette (Westport, Mass.) added eight points and five boards in the season-ending setback.
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.