The win is the second straight for the Monks who improve to 3-1 overall. St. Joseph's College retains possession of the Costello Cup for the second straight season. It is the sixth time in the 27 game series that the Monks have won the cup. Named in honor of the late Dr. Richard "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and basketball coach, the Huskies' lead the Costello Cup series 21-6, and the overall series 41-8. Southern Maine drops to 1-4 on the season. Two of Southern Maine's losses have been by a margin of four points or less.
Benway led the Monks with 22 points off of the bench with an outstanding 11-for-16 effort from the field. She added five rebounds. Junior Regan McFerran (Albany, New York/Catholic Central) had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while McNamara finished with eight points, five assists and a steal.
Southern Maine junior Emily Nicholson (Quispamsis, New Brunswick/Kennebecasis Valley) went 4-for-6 from three-point range to finish with 16 points and four rebounds, while classmate Kayla Stacy(Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) added 15 points and three assists on 5-for-10 shooting from three. Junior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) added nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) added eight points.
Suffering from a cold shooting effort through three quarter, Southern Maine entered the fourth down by 12, 50-38, and trailed by 16, 58-42, with 7:03 to play before mounting a comeback attempt. After a layup from Benway put the Monks ahead 58-42, the Huskies got back-to-back threes from Nicholson to cut the deficit to 10, 58-48 with 6:28 to go. An offensive rebound and a put-back from the Monks' Maloney stemmed the USM run, but the Huskies rattled off the next 12 points consecutively to tie the score at 60. Stacy connected on a pair of threes in the run.
With the score locked at 60 with 2:04 to play after Stacy's game-tying three, SJC's McNamara countered with a three of her own to make it 63-60 in favor of the Monks with 1:40 to lay. On USM's next possession, the Huskies extended their play with a pair of offensive rebounds, by Srolovitz and Nicely, before Stacy again came through with the game-tying basket for a 63-63 game with 49 seconds left. McNamara came through in the clutch again for the Monks on their next possession dishing the ball off to a wide-open Benway for the go-ahead basket before sealing the win at the free throw line.
Southern Maine returns to action on Tuesday (5:30 p.m.) at Bowdoin College. St. Joseph's College travels to Lasell on Thursday (6:00 p.m.) for a GNAC game.