STANDISH, Maine – The New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) has announced the rosters for the 2019 Senior All-Star Classic. Mike McDevitt '83 will serve as the coach of the home team and three of his players – Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.), Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine), and Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) – have been selected to play in this year's exhibition.
The NEWBA All-Star Game, played annually to showcase the top NCAA DIII players in the region, will take place on March 23rd at Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 PM.
McDevitt, who has garnered three-consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Coach of the Year accolades and was named as the 2018 NEWBA Coach of the Year, will serve as a head coach for the All-Star Game for the second year in a row. Among the most successful coaches in all of NCAA DIII Women's Basketball, McDevitt ranks 17th among active coaches in victories and 24th in winning percentage. Only three coaches in New England have more wins and four (10+ years) have a higher win rate. During his tenure at Saint Joseph's, Coach McDevitt has guided the Monks to at least 20 wins in 18 different seasons, the sixth-highest total in the history of NCAA DIII Women's Basketball, with 18 championships.
McNamara, who last week learned she would be playing in the Beyond Sports/WBCA Senior All-Star Game in Salem, Virginia, has been selected to play in the NEWBA exhibition contest after averaging 21.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game during her senior season. The 2019 GNAC Player of the Year ranks second in NCAA DIII Women's Basketball in assists (200), third in three-pointers made (93), fourth in points (636), fifth in assists average, sixth in field goals made (207), free-throw percentage, and three-point attempts (248), and ninth in scoring average.
During her senior season McNamara eclipsed the Monks' career records for points (2,067), assists (621), three-pointers made (327) and attempted (856), and field goal attempts (1,660).
Champagne has been invited to play in the NEWBA All-Star Game after posting 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 30 starts this year. She finished the season ranked fourth in the conference in three-pointers made (58), fifth in three-point percentage (36.5%, 58-159), ninth in free throws made (81) and points (417), and 10th in defensive rebounds (125).
The third-year starter became the 25th member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club in a win over Emmanuel on February 8th and capped her career with 1,130 points, 578 rebounds, and 260 assists in 118 career games. She 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).
Benway, a three-time Second Team All-Conference honoree, averaged 12.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 56.9% (160-281) from the floor during her senior season. She led the GNAC in shooting percentage and ranked second in offensive rebounds (134), third in total rebounds (280), and sixth in rebounding average this winter.
On December 2nd, 2018 Benway became the 24th member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club and closed out her career with 1,295 points, the 10th-highest total in team history. She is also tied for second in program history in field goal percentage (53.3%), sixth in rebounds (861), eighth in rebounding average (7.6), and ninth in field goals made (555).
With McNamara, Champagne and Benway playing in this year's contest, the Monks have now had six players selected to participate in the annual exhibition as the 2019 trio joins Abby Young '14, Ashley Geel '12, and Carolyn Freeman '10 on the exclusive list. Emmanuel College senior Maddie McLaughlin is the only other GNAC player to be invited to this year's event.
The NEWBA Senior All-Star Classic includes players from around the region are nominated for the honor by their coaches and Sports Information Directors. Over 80 NCAA DIII head coaches then select the 22 participants through a vote.
Senior All-Star Classic Participants
Home Team (White Uniforms) – Coached by Mike McDevitt, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Kelsi McNamara, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Julia Champagne, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Emily Benway, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Emily Irwin, Curry
Nakira Examond, UMass Dartmouth
Jess Conant, Plymouth State
Jess Korzec, UMass Dartmouth
Jancy Sherwood, Western Connecticut
Kelsey Santagata, Eastern Connecticut
Meghan Gilhool, Western New England
Maddie McLaughlin, Emmanuel
Away Team (Dark Uniforms) – Coached by Karen Tessmer, Worcester State
Brittany Herring, Worcester State
Kaitlyn Berkel, Worcester State
Kate Surprenant, Worcester State
Kenzie Worcester, Husson
Tara Berger, Wesleyan
Kierra McCarthy, Westfield State
Lucy Barrett, Westfield State
Lauren Bondi, Smith
Kennedy Guest-Pritchett, Smith
Taylor V'Dovec, MIT
Charlie Boyle, Emerson
Gracie Restituyo, Springfield