GORHAM, Maine – Senior Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) scored a game-high 37 points to lead the 17th-ranked St. Joseph's College (Maine) Monks to a 71-51 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a non-conference women's basketball game Sunday night at Hill Gymnasium.
With the win, the Monks remain undefeated and secure the Costello Cup for the fourth staright season, and eighth time in the 29-game series. USM leads the series 21-8. The Costello Cup, which is presented annually to the winner of the contest between the rival schools, honors the late Dr. Richard. "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and long-time basketball coach. SJC is 4-0 with the win, while Southern Maine takes its first loss of the season to stand at 3-1.
Ahead by seven to start the fourth quarter, 49-42, St. Joseph's used a 10-0 run to give itself some breathing room and pull away from the Huskies. McNamara completed the run, canning one of her seven three-pointers in the game for a commanding 59-42 Monk lead.
The Huskies used a strong third quarter effort to pull to within one or two possessions of the Monks three times, trailing 39-36 on a layup from senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) with 2:21, 42-38 on an offensive rebound and a put back from senior Kim Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) with 1:14 remaining in the quarter, and 45-41 on a three from junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) with 45 seconds on the clock. However each time the Huskies pressured SJC, McNamara hit a big shot, including a three with seconds left in the third for the 49-42 lead headed into the fourth.
McNamara was 12-for-18 from the field and 7-for-11 from three to lead all scorers with 37. Senior Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding) narrowly missed on a double-double with nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Luckhardt led USM with 14 points, adding four rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Howrigan and junior Kristina Blais (Lewiston, Maine) each scored 11 points. Howrigan led USM with eight rebounds, while Blais added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Southern Maine travels to UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) in its Little East Conference opener. St. Joseph's College travels to the University of New England on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) in non-conference action.