STANDISH, Maine - Saint Joseph's College Head Coach Mike McDevitt '83 has been selected as the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Coach of the Year and junior point guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) has collected NEWBA First Team All-New England and D3hoops.com Second Team All-Northeast accolades.
McDevitt, who was also voted as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) Coach of the Year, earns his first regional coaching honor - and 13th postseason coaching accolade - after leading the Monks to their third-consecutive GNAC Championship and fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five seasons.
With a 28-2 overall record, the 2017-18 women's basketball team established a new program mark for single-season victories and obliterated the previous SJC Athletics winning streak record (23) with 27-consecutive wins, a streak that began with a win over Keene State College on November 18th and ended with a 53-47 setback against eventual National Champion Amherst College on March 3rd.
Ranked fourth in the NCAA DIII Northeast Regional Rankings - behind Amherst, Tufts and Bowdoin, three teams that advanced to the Elite 8 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament - the Monks ranked among the national leaders in winning percentage (5th, 93.3%), scoring margin (5th, 23.4), three-point field goals made (5th, 252), assist/turnover ratio (8th, 1.24), three-point percentage (10th, 37.3%), three-pointers per game (11th, 8.4), assists (12th, 521), and points (15th, 2240).
Saint Joseph's set new program records for three-pointers made (252) and attempted (676) and posted the second-highest shooting percentage from beyond the arc (37.3%) since the 1992-93 campaign (37.6%, team record).
McNamara earns a pair of regional accolades after averaging 18.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 42.3% (187-442) from the floor, 39.6% (90-227) from three-point range, and 81.8% (99-121) from the FT line during her junior season.
The third-year starter led all NCAA DIII Northeast Region players in total points (563) and ranked second in the region in assists (169), assists average and three-pointers made, fourth in three-pointers per game (3.0), and sixth in three-pointers attempted.
McNamara became just the seventh Saint Joseph's player to surpass the 1,000-point plateau during their junior season and completed her third collegiate campaign with 1, 431 points, which is already the eighth-highest total in team history. She also broke the Monks' single-season and career records for three-pointers made (90/234) and attempted (227/608) this season. Following her sophomore campaign, McNamara earned NEWBA Second Team All-New England and D3hoops.com Third Team All-Northeast accolades.
Last winter, Saint Joseph's posted a 28-2 overall record with a 16-0 mark in GNAC play last season en route to earning the top seed in the conference tournament for the third-consecutive season. In tourney play, the Monks defeated Mount Ida College and Albertus Magnus College in the quarter and semi finals, respectively, and toppled Suffolk University, 73-59, in the GNAC Championship at the Harold Alfond Center on February 24th. In the NCAA Tournament, St. Joe's drew Little East Conference Champion UMass.-Boston and rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat the Beacons, 61-56, and claim the first NCAA tourney triumph in program history.
Saint Joseph's faced off against reigning National Champion Amherst College - on their home court - in second round action the following day. In a game featuring six lead changes and five tie scores, the Monks pushed the Mammoths to the edge but eventually fell, 53-47, to a team went on to defend their national crown and extend their winning streak to 66 games in the process.
The Mammoths - who toppled Becker College, 61-12, in the first round - proceeded to defeat their following four NCAA Tournament opponents by an average of 18.3 points, including a 65-45 victory over Bowdoin College in the National Championship on March 17th.
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.