STANDISH, Maine - The 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Basketball postseason accolades have been released and four Saint Joseph's College team members have been honored.
Head Coach Mike McDevitt '83 has been named as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive season, junior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) has earned First Team All-GNAC honors, junior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) is listed on the Second Team, and junior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) has garnered GNAC Defensive Player of the Year and Third Team All-Conference accolades.
McDevitt claims his third GNAC Coach of the Year award (2014, 2017, 2018) after leading the Monks to a 27-1 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in conference play, and the GNAC Championship crown for the third-consecutive season. Under his watch this season, the Monks have won 26-consecutive games - the longest winning streak in the history of both SJC Athletics and GNAC Women's Basketball - and extended their home winning streak to 37 contests. For McDevitt, who owns a 527-192 (.733) all-time record, the postseason coaching accolade is the 11th of his career.
McNamara claims First Team All-Conference accolades for the second-consecutive season after averaging 18.7 points, 5.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 42.5% (173-407) from the floor, 40.2% (86-214) from three-point range, and 86.7% (91-105) from the FT line during her junior campaign. The three-time GNAC Tournament MVP leads the conference in three-pointers made and assists (160), ranks second in FT% (86.7%) and points (523), and fourth in three-point percentage, scoring average, and assist/turnover ratio (1.8). McNamara became the seventh player in SJC women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau during their junior season and also broke the Monks' single-season and career three-point field records this winter.
Benway collects Second Team All-GNAC honors for the second time in as many years after averaging 12.4 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting a career-best 55.8% (140-251) from the field during her third collegiate season. The third-year starter led the Monks in rebounding and shooting percentage and was second on the team with 140 field goals made.
Champagne earns All-Conference honors for the first time in her career after averaging 12.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting an even 50% (122-244) from the field, 40.7% (44-108) from downtown, and 80.2% (73-91) from the charity stripe during her third NCAA season. Typically tasked with defending the opponent's top scorer, Champagne becomes the first SJC player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors since Lindsay Moore '15 did so following the 2012-13 campaign.
Saint Joseph's (27-1, 16-0 GNAC) claimed the GNAC's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament with a 73-59 conference championship victory at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday and, as announced this afternoon, will face UMass.-Boston - the Little East Conference champion - at Amherst College on Friday, time TBD.