STANDISH, Maine -- Saint Joseph's College (2-0) defeated the University of Maine at Farmington (0-3), 58-52, in a non-conference women's basketball contest at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday night. St. Joseph's freshman Morgan Cahill netted a team-high 12 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds in the Monks' victory.
Saint Joseph's held a lead for the vast majority of play but never held an advantage of more than seven points in the closely-contested battle between the former conference rivals.
Farmington saw its largest lead when senior forward Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine/Mt. Abram) hit one of two free throw attempts just over three minutes into the contest. The Monks countered with an 11-2 run, which was capped by a Nicolette Kapothanasis three-pointer with 14:33 left in the first half.
St. Joe's held on to the lead for the rest of the opening stanza, but the visiting Beavers cut their deficit down to two points, 29-27, after freshman forward Elizabeth Ferry (Winslow, Maine/Winslow) drained a pair of freebies 39 seconds before the break. The Monks answered with five straight points, a Mackenzie Dufour trifecta and a Danyelle Shufelt layup, in the closing seconds and held their largest lead of the night, seven points (34-27) going into intermission.
In the first half, Saint Joseph's shot 48.3% (14-29) from the field, 28.6% (2-7) from three-point land, and 50% (2-4) from the charity stripe while Farmington shot 26.5% (9-34) overall, was fruitless from downtown (0-6) and shot 69.2% (9-13) from the FT line.
It was no more than a two-possession game for most of the second half and the Beavers managed to secure a brief lead late in the closing stanza. Farmington junior forward Holly Oliver (Belgrade Lakes, Maine/Messalonskee) netted a three-pointer with 5:57 remaining in the second half to put the Beavers up, 52-51, but Abby Young countered with a layup off a Skyler Makkinje pass 16 seconds later to put the Monks on top to stay since Farmington was unable to muster a bucket of any kind for the remainder of play.
For the Monks, Young recorded 10 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists, Lindsay Moore tallied 10 points and seven boards, Shufelt added nine points, and Kapothanasis chipped in with six points and two dimes in the victory. Dufour contributed five points, four boards and three assists and Sarah Assante chimed in with five steals, four caroms and two helpers for the hosts.
For the Beavers, sophomore guard Lindsay Ranquist (Owls Head, Maine/Medomak Valley) netted a game-high 13 points with five steals, five rebounds and three assists, Norton neared a double-double with 11 points and nine caroms, and Ferry put up 11 points and six boards while shooting 7-8 from the free throw line.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 38.1% (24-63) from the floor, 18.8% (3-16) from three-point distance, and 41.2% (7-17) from the line. UMaine-Farmington shot 29.3% (17-58) from the field, 10% (1-10) from downtown, and 73.9% (17-23) from the charity stripe and held advantages in rebounds (47-45) and steals (10-8) in a losing effort.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 37-29 in the history of the series with UMaine-Farmington. The Monks have now defeated the Beavers in three-consecutive meetings, the first such occurrence for the Royal Blue since St. Joe's topped UMF on three straight occasions during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons.
UMaine-Farmington is off until next Wednesday when the Beavers play at Bates College in a 7:00 PM tip-off.