STANDISH, Maine – The 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) postseason accolades have been announced and five members of the Saint Joseph's College women's basketball team have been honored.
Headlining the awards for the Monks are Head Coach Mike McDevitt '83, who has been selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the third-consecutive season, and senior point guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.), who has claimed GNAC Player of the Year honors for the second time in her career.
McNamara has also earned First Team All-Conference acclaim for the third-consecutive year, senior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) is listed on the Second Team for the third-straight season, and senior guards Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) and Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine) have garnered Third Team All-GNAC accolades.
Having four women's basketball players earn All-GNAC honors is not a common occurrence, as this year's instance marks the first time since the 2010-11 campaign – when a quartet of Emmanuel players were honored – that four individuals from the same team received accolades.
McDevitt claims his fourth GNAC Coach of the Year award (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019) after leading the Monks to a 27-1 record, including a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play, this season. Under his watch in 2018-19, the Monks won 27-consecutive games to tie the longest winning streak in the history of both SJC Athletics and GNAC Women's Basketball and extended their home winning streak to 51 contests before falling to Emmanuel in the GNAC Championship on Saturday. For McDevitt, who owns a 555-194 (.741) all-time record, the postseason coaching accolade is the 14th of his career.
McNamara earns the second GNAC Player of the Year and third-consecutive First Team All-Conference honor after averaging 21.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game during her senior campaign. She leads the GNAC in three-pointers made (85), free throw percentage (88.1%, 118-134), assists (193), and assist/turnover ratio (2.6) and ranks third in points (587) and fourth in scoring average, field goals made (192), free throws made (118), and three-point percentage (37.6%, 85-226).
McNamara, who first claimed GNAC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, ranks second in NCAA DIII Women's Basketball in assists, fifth in assists average (6.9 APG), sixth in points and three-pointers made, seventh in free-throw percentage, and 10th in assist/turnover ratio.
Among active NCAA DIII players, the four-year starter ranks first in career three-pointers made (319), second in assists (614) and three-point attempts (834), third in points (2,018), fourth in games (116), fifth in assists average (5.29) and field goal attempts (1,622), sixth in three-pointers made (2.75) and attempted (7.19) per game, ninth in field goals made (662), 11th in free-throw percentage (83.3%), 15th in scoring average (17.4 PPG), and 16th in free throws made (375).
In a win over Colby-Sawyer on January 15th, McNamara surpassed Kendra Coates '91 as the Monks' all-time leading scorer and versus Suffolk on February 21st she became the first player in program history to reach the 2,000-point mark. She is also the Monks' career leader in three-pointers made and attempted and the GNAC all-time leader in three-point field goals and assists.
Benway collects Second Team All-Conference honors for the third-consecutive season after averaging 12.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 56.9% (153-269) from the field in 28 starts this winter. She leads the GNAC in shooting percentage, ranks second in offensive rebounds (128), third in total rebounds (267), sixth in rebounding average, seventh in defensive rebounds (139), 10th in field goals made (153), and 13th in points (354).
On December 2nd, 2018 Benway became the 24th member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club and heads into the NCAA Tournament this weekend with 1,275 points, the 10th-highest total in team history. She also ranks third in program history in field goal percentage (53.2%), sixth in rebounds (848), eighth in rebounding average (7.6), and ninth in field goals made (547).
Champagne is listed on the Third Team for the second-consecutive season after posting 13.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 28 starts this year. She is ranked fifth in the conference in three-point percentage (36.9%, 55-149), sixth in three-pointers made (55), 11th in points (380), 12th in field goal percentage (45.4%, 129-284), and 13th in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
The third-year starter became the 25th member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club in a win over Emmanuel on February 8th and heads into the NCAA tourney with 1,093 points, 564 rebounds, and 254 assists in 116 career games. She ranks seventh in program history in three-pointers made (128), eighth in three-point percentage (35.4%) and is one of just two players in the 41-year history of SJC women's basketball to register 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 250 assists (Carolyn Brooks '88 is the other).
Marks claims All-Conference honors for the first time in her career after averaging 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 28 starts this season. She led the GNAC in three-point shooting percentage (41.0%, 66-161) for the second year in a row and ranks third in the conference in three-pointers made (66) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.6).
The second-year starter ranks second in program history in three-pointers made (183), fifth in three-point attempts (488), and sixth in three-point percentage (37.5%).
Saint Joseph's, ranked 12th and 14th in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D3Hoops.com national polls, respectively, has earned an at-large berth into the 2019 NCAA DIII Tournament and will face MIT in a first-round game at Ithaca College on Friday at 5:00 PM.