STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College senior guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.) has claimed New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Player of the Year, NEWBA First Team All-Region, and D3Hoops.com First Team All-Northeast Region accolades.
The awards continue to pour in for the four-year starter as McNamara has now garnered an even 100 career accolades, including 32 during her senior season alone. Since the 2018-19 season ended and in addition to the aforementioned high honors, she has collected Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Year, Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference, First Team All-State, and Google Cloud Third Team Academic All-America® honors.
McNamara has also been selected to play in the 2019 Beyond Sports/WBCA Senior All-Star Game, which features the top 20 NCAA DIII seniors from around the nation, and the NEWBA Senior All-Star Classic, which showcases the best seniors in the New England Region.
McNamara enjoyed her finest season this winter, averaging 21.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 43.9% (207-472) from the field, 37.5% (93-248) from three-point range, and 88.4% (129-146) from the free-throw line while starting all 30 games. She 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.
McNamara is just the second NCAA DIII Women's Basketball player to register at least 200 field goals made and 200 assists in the same season. Former Christopher-Newport standout Karen Barefoot, who tallied 273 assists and made 205 field goals during the 1993-94 campaign, is the only other player to hit the 200 mark in both categories. The NCAA began tracking assists as an official statistic in 1988.
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). She also moved up the SJC career leaderboard in games (118, 2nd), field goals made (677, 2nd), free throws made (386, 2nd), assists average (5.3, 2nd), free throw percentage (83.5%, 3rd), scoring average (17.5, 3rd), three-point percentage (38.2%, 4th), free throws attempted (462, 6th), and steals (204, 9th).
This winter she established new SJC single-season records for three-pointers made and attempted, points, and assists and became the first St. Joe's player to average over 20 points per game since the 1994-95 season when Danielle Bouchard '95 netted 22.2 PPG.
McNamara capped her senior campaign as the NCAA DIII Women's Basketball active leader in three-pointers made and attempted and is ranked second in assists, third in games and points, fifth in assists average and field goal attempts, sixth in three-pointers per game (2.77), seventh in field goals made and three-point attempts per game (7.25), 10th in free throw percentage, 11th in free throws made, and 14th in scoring average.
During her career, McNamara notched nine double-doubles and scored at least 20 points in 36 different games, including 10 contests with 30 or more and a career-high 40 points in a victory over Pomona-Pitzer on December 29th, 2018. She made at least one three-pointer in all but nine games and dealt at least one assist in all but two games over four seasons.
Under the watch of 26th-year Head Coach Mike McDevitt '83 this season, Saint Joseph's went 28-2 overall – including a 12-0 mark in conference play – en route to earning the top seed in the GNAC Tournament for the fourth-consecutive year. The Monks cruised past Johnson & Wales and Suffolk in the first two rounds of the tourney before suffering a 65-64 upset at the hands of Emmanuel in the GNAC Championship on February 23rd.
Ranked in the top 10 nationally in the WBCA and D3Hoops.com polls and fourth in the NCAA DIII Regional rankings, Saint Joseph's earned the program's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Monks faced MIT in the opening round of the national tourney and defeated the Engineers, 68-61, before falling to pod-host Ithaca College, 74-63, the following day.
The loss signaled the end of collegiate basketball for the Monks' four seniors: Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.), Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine), McNamara, and Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine). With the 2019 class on the court, St. Joe's posted a 103-15 (.873) overall record – the most victories by a senior class in program history - with a 53-2 (.964) mark in conference play, three GNAC Championships, and four NCAA Tournament appearances.