WESTON, Mass. - #10/14 Saint Joseph's College (13-0, 1-0 GNAC) opened Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play with a 77-65 victor at Regis College (4-9, 0-1 GNAC) on Tuesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Trailing 22-16 following a sluggish first quarter, the Monks faced an eight-point deficit (27-19) three minutes into the second frame before rattling off 14 unanswered points as part of a 23-5 run, which saw the visitors carry a 42-32 advantage into intermission.
Saint Joseph's, ranked 10th and 14th in this week's D3hoops.com and Women's Basketball Coaches Association national polls, respectively, went on to lead by a game-high 14 points (50-36) after senior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) made a layup at the 4:31 mark of the third quarter. But the Pride refused to go down easily, as the hosts managed to cut the SJC cushion down to 62-57 after freshman Arie Searcy (Santa Rosa, Calif.) hit a shot with 7:24 remaining.
The Monks maintained a single-digit edge until a Benway free throw made it a 71-61 game with 50 seconds on the clock and senior guards Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) and Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) combined to go 6-6 from the charity stripe in the closing 40 seconds to clinch the victory.
With the triumph, Saint Joseph's improves to 13-0 for just the second time in program history. The 1998-99 team also opened the season with 13 straight victories.
STATS OF THE GAME:
St. Joe's scored 20 points off 17 Regis turnovers while the Pride netted 11 points off eight SJC turnovers…The Monks posted a 21-12 advantage in bench points.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Champagne netted 18 points and was 6-6 from the FT line with six rebounds and three assists
- McNamara notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists and added four boards and three steals
- Freshman Grace Philippon (Glenburn, Maine) scored a career-high 13 points and was 5-7 from the field, including a 3-4 effort from downtown
- Sophomore Jordan Jabar (Waterville, Maine) added 10 points and a pair of rebounds
- Benway pulled down 13 rebounds and scored seven points
LEADERS – REGIS:
- Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) scored a game-high 23 points with seven rebounds
- Nikki Bitinaltis (Cromwell, Conn.) added 14 points, six assists, and three boards
- Searcy grabbed 13 caroms with two blocks and four points
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 3-1 all-time versus Regis College and has now defeated the Pride in three-consecutive meetings.
Saint Joseph's will host Albertus Magnus College on Thursday in a GNAC matchup slated to start at 5:30 PM.