STANDISH, Maine - #11 Saint Joseph's College (19-0, 7-0 GNAC) rallied from an early deficit to defeat Suffolk University (14-5, 6-1 GNAC), 77-63, in a rematch of the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball championship at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Rams held a 32-30 lead after sophomore guard Gabriella DeComo (Portsmouth, R.I.) made a layup with 4:25 left in the second quarter before the Monks rattled off 11 unanswered points to claim a 41-32 cushion four minutes later. Suffolk sophomore guard Jenni-Rose DiCecco (Falmouth, Mass.) cut her team's shortfall down to six points (41-35) when she hit a three-pointer with four seconds before the break.
The SJC advantage fell to 41-38 after the Rams hit another three on their first possession of the third frame, but the Monks essentially put the game away with a 21-6 run, which was capped by an Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) fast-break layup and the hosts on top by a contest-high 18 points (62-44) with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Monks held the lead in points off turnovers (16-7), points in the paint (34-22), and fast-break points (11-4) in the victory.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- The Monks have now won 25-consecutive regular-season games versus conference opponents – the team's last in-season loss at the hands of a GNAC foe took place on February 11th, 2017 when St. Joe's fell at Rivier, 66-61
- With the win, Saint Joseph's extends the program's home winning streak to 46 games
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Benway just missed a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds and was 9-for-10 from the field
- Senior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) was 7-for-11 from the floor, including a 4-for-6 effort from downtown, with 20 points and three rebounds
- Senior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) added 19 points, nine assists, and six rebounds
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Senior guard Marissa Gudauskas (Bolton, Conn.) scored 19 points – including 15 in the first quarter)
- DiCecco nearly notched a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and nine assists
- Junior guard Alexis Hackett (Charlton, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points, six boards, six assists, and a pair of steals
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 14-7 in the history of the series with Suffolk University and has now defeated the Rams in seven-consecutive meetings.
The Monks are off until next Thursday when the team travels to Nashua, N.H. to face off against GNAC-rival Rivier University. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 PM.