GORHAM, Maine – Senior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) scored a career-high 37 points to help launch #17/22 Saint Joseph's College (4-0) past University of Southern Maine (3-1) in a non-conference women's basketball contest at the Hill Gymnasium on Sunday evening.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's – ranked 17th and 22nd nationally in the most recent D3hoops.com and WBCA polls, respectively - retains possession of the Costello Cup, which is presented annually to the winner of the contest between the rivals and honors the late Dr. Richard "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and long-time basketball coach.
For the first time in the history of the series, the Monks have captured the Costello Cup for the fourth-consecutive season. The Huskies retain a 19-8 record in Costello Cup play, which began in 1990.
McNamara's 37-point output is the most scored by any player in the 27-game history of the Cup series, surpassing the 36 scored by USM's Lauren Pate in a 78-75 Huskies win on February 13th, 1991.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph's held the lead for all but the first possession of the evening, as the Monks netted eight unanswered points – including five from McNamara – to claim an 8-2 lead with 7:45 left in the first quarter.
McNamara scored 13 points in the first quarter alone as the Royal Blue held a 20-9 cushion after the first frame.
Southern Maine cut the deficit down to 23-18 with 5:52 before the break when junior guard Kristina Blais (Lewiston, Maine) scored five straight as part of a 9-3 USM run, but St. Joe's managed to outscore the hosts by a 9-3 margin for the remainder of the half.
The Monks proceeded to hold a game-high 22-point (71-49) after freshman Alyson Fillion (Bedford, N.H.) drilled a three-pointer with 44 seconds left.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Saint Joseph's scored 15 points off 17 USM turnovers; conversely, Southern Maine netted just four points off 14 SJC turnovers…the Monks shot 41.4% (12-29) from beyond the arc – the Huskies made just three of 16 bids from downtown for an 18.8% clip in the setback.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- McNamara was 7-11 from three-point distance and added three assists and two rebounds – her point total is the second-highest in SJC women's basketball history behind Linda Freeman's 49 versus Maine-Machias on February 25th, 1978
- Senior Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) added 13 rebounds and nine points
- Senior Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) chipped in with eight points, two steals, and two rebounds
- Junior Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) came off the bench to score five points and pull down four rebounds
LEADERS – SOUTHERN MAINE:
- Junior guard Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) scored 14 points off a 6-7 shooting performance and added four boards, three assists, and two steals
- Blais netted 11 points with three caroms and three assists
- Senior guard Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt.) contributed 11 points and eight rebounds
Saint Joseph's returns to action Wednesday when the Monks travel to Biddeford to take on University of New England in a 5:30 PM start.