STANDISH, Maine – Down 18 headed into the fourth quarter after struggling with its shooting percentage, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' women's basketball team came up just shy of a comeback win dropping a 67-65 decision to the St. Joseph's College Monks in a non-conference women's basketball game at St. Joseph's College.
Junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) led three USM players in double figures with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double adding five assists and five steals for the 4-4 Huskies. One of three players in double-figures for the home team, Kaliegh Walsh had 18 points off of the bench for SJC in the win, leading the Monks to a 4-2 record. With the win, the Monks secure the Costello Cup for the fifth consecutive season and ninth time in the 30 game series. USM leads the series 21-9. 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.
Luckhardt shot 7-for-10 from the field, and matched her career-high with a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla./Lewiston) added 14 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot, while junior Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) had 10 points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Junior Abi Ramirez (Portland, Maine) tossed in nine points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Walsh was 8-for-11 from the field for the Monks, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, adding five rebounds. Lexi L'Heureux-Carland notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rbounds, while Alyson Fillion had 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After a nip and tuck first quarter, SJC took an 18-15 lead heading into the second quarter when Fillion canned a three on the Monks' final possession with five seconds in the quarter. Fillion had six points in the quarter, all on three-pointers, while Luckhardt had six for Southern Maine.
- USM snagged a 21-20 lead to start the second quarter on a layup from Luckhardt before the Monks closed out the quarter and the half on a 20-7 run to take a commanding 40-28 lead at the break. Walsh had nine of the Monks' 22 points in the quarter, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field as SJC was 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) from the field as a team. Conversely, USM was just 5-for-18 from the field (27.8 percent).
- SJC outscored USM 19-13 in the third, again led by nine points from Walsh (4-for-5 FG) to lead 59-41.
- USM started its comeback bid with a 13-2 run to open the fourth to trail the Monks 61-54 with 5:56 to play. Four different players contributed to the Huskies' surge led by four points each from Curley and Luckhardt. Jayne Howe made a layup for SJC with 4:58 to play to give the Monks their first field goal of the quarter, but USM countered with a 7-0 run to make it a two-point game 63-61 with 3:43 to play. Luckhardt, Ramirez and senior Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) each had buckets for the Huskies in the run.
- USM missed on its next three possessions and SJC made 3-of-6 free throws over the next 90 seconds to lead 66-61 with 2:12 to go. Down five, USM scored four straight on back-to-back layups from Harris and Luckhardt for a 66-65, but the Huskies' failed to convert on an and-one to tie the game up.
- With 15 seconds to play USM put the Monks' Quinn on the line and she made one of two for a 67-65 SJC lead. After a time out, USM had two looks for an equalizer or a go-ahead basket snagging an offensive rebound but neither found the bottom of the cylinder as SJC held for the win.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- USM left 16 points at the free throw line making 14-of-30 (46.7 percent). SJC was 13-for-19 from the free throw line (68.4 percent).
- The Huskies' forced SJC into 23 turnovers while committing just 10 of their own. USM scored 25 points off of Monk turnovers. The Huskies had 17 steals in the game, led by Luckhardt's five.
- SJC hit six three-pointers (6-for-14) for 42.9 percent from long range. Walsh and Fillion had two each.
Southern Maine remains on the road and returns to Little East Conference action on Wednesday (5:30 pm) at UMass Boston.