STANDISH, Maine - Saint Joseph's College (24-1, 16-0 GNAC) set a new Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball winning streak record with an 80-48 victory over Norwich University (10-14, 7-9 GNAC) at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
With their 23rd-consecutive triumph, the Monks have also tied the longest winning streak in SJC Athletics history, matching the mark set by the 1998-99 men's basketball program. Today's victory broke the previous GNAC women's hoops winning streak record of 22 games set by Emmanuel College during the 2000-01 campaign.
For the third-consecutive season, Saint Joseph's has secured the #1 seed in the GNAC Tournament. The Monks will host #8 Mount Ida College (13-12, 6-10 GNAC) in a conference quarterfinal on Tuesday at 5:30 PM.
Norwich has claimed the #7 seed and will play at second-seeded Emmanuel College in other quarterfinal action Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks opened with 10 unanswered points in the first two minutes of play, but the Cadets cut their deficit to five points, 19-14 after senior guard Shyann Josler (Thetford Center, Vt.) hit a three-pointer with 2:45 left in the first quarter. Saint Joseph's responded with a game-changing 17-4 run spanning five minutes as a pair of Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) free throws extended the hosts' advantage to 36-18 with 8:13 remaining in the second stanza.
The Monks proceeded lead by at least 18 points for the duration and held a game-high 37-point cushion (78-41) after freshman guard Madigan Cogger (York, Maine) converted a fast-break layup with 4:40 left in the fourth frame.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Monks scored 23 points off 21 Cadet turnovers and held a commanding 46-16 advantage in points in the paint on the afternoon. St. Joe's employed sound ball security, committing 12 turnovers, and Norwich managed to score only five points on the Monks' miscues.
LEADERS - SAINT JOSEPH'S:
Junior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) netted 20 points - including 15 in the first quarter - with five rebounds and a pair of assists
Benway tallied 17 points with eight rebounds and was 6-8 from the field with a 5-5 free-throw shooting performance
Junior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in with 11 points, five boards, and seven assists
Sophomore guard Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) came off the bench to contribute six points and six assists
LEADERS - NORWICH:
Junior forward Vanessa Fleury (Lebanon, N.H.) tallied 14 points and six rebounds
Josler scored 10 points with five caroms and a pair of assists
Prior to the start of the contest, Saint Joseph's held a brief ceremony to honor the program's three seniors: Emily DeLuca (Gorham, Maine), Brianne Maloney (South Portland, Maine), and Regan McFerran (Albany, N.Y.). The trio of four-year team members have helped the Monks post an 87-22 (.798) overall record, including an incredible 47-7 (.870) mark in GNAC play, with a pair of GNAC Championships during their time on the hardwood.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's is now 20-7 all-time versus Norwich University and has now defeated the Cadets in five-consecutive meetings dating back to the 2015-16 campaign.
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.