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BOSTON, Mass. – Saint Joseph's College (17-1, 9-0 GNAC) rallied from a 16-point deficit with an impressive fourth-quarter effort to defeat Suffolk University (14-4, 7-2 GNAC), 82-79, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
The come-from-behind performance kept the Monks' winning streak - which now stands at 16 games - intact.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Trailing 62-50 after three quarters, the Monks shot 66.7% (12-18) from the floor, including a 7-10 effort from three-point distance, en route to posting a 35-17 scoring differential in the final frame. Junior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) scored 16 of her game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter, including three triples during an 11-2 run which cut the SJC deficit down to 74-71 with 3:47 remaining.
Nearly a minute later, senior guard Georgia Bourikas (Hull, Mass.) made a pair of free throws to extend the Rams' lead to 76-71, but junior guard Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) made a layup and senior forward Regan McFerran (Albany, N.Y.) hit a three to knot the game at 76-all with 2:16 on the clock.
Suffolk sophomore forward Alexis Hackett (Charlton, Mass.) connected on a pair of freebies to lift her team to a 79-78 edge with 1:07 left, but McNamara converted a layup 15 seconds later to provide the Royal Blue with their first lead since early in the first quarter and Marks hit two free throws with 21 seconds on the clock to account for the 82-79 final.
Thirty-five points is the most the Monks have scored in a quarter since the start of the 2015-16 season, when the NCAA adopted a rule change moving from halves to quarters (76 games) – the previous high was 30 points (vs. Lasell, 1/26/17)…today's contest marks the first time St. Joe's trailed after three quarters since the 16-game winning streak began – and SJC faced a 50-45 deficit after 30 minutes - against Keene State on November 18th…the Monks held the Rams without a field goal for the final 5:39 minutes in today's contest.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- McNamara was 7-12 from three-point range with seven rebounds and four assists
- Marks netted 14 points with three assists
- Junior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) tallied 14 points and three boards
- McFerran added 11 points and was 3-3 from beyond the arc
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Hackett registered 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists
- Freshman guard Jenni-Rose DiCecco (Falmouth, Mass.) added 16 points, six boards, two assists, and three steals
- Freshman forward Jordan Hipwell (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) netted 15 points with five caroms, three assists, and a pair of steals
- Bourikas recorded 12 points and seven boards with three assists
With the victory, Saint Joseph's is now 11-7 all-time versus Suffolk University and has defeated the Rams in four-consecutive meetings for the first time in the history of the series.
Saint Joseph's plays at Lasell College on Tuesday at 6:00 PM.
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.