STANDISH — Early in the second half, when the University of New England still had hopes of catching up, St. Joseph’s College guard Kelsi McNamara dribbled up the court. She fired a pass to the corner, where Julia Champagne quickly dished inside to Regan McFerran.

McFerran whipped a pass, out to the other corner, where Hannah Marks popped in a 3-pointer.

And so it went.

St. Joseph’s passed and passed, and the Nor’easters could not keep up. The Monks enjoyed a 74-53 romp Monday night at the Alfond Center.

The win kept St. Joseph’s winning streak going, now at 15, two away from the school record as the Monks improved to 16-1. UNE dropped to 12-4.

It also extended the Monks’ home winning streak to 30 – their last loss to UNE in 2016.

But St. Joseph’s was thrilled to see another streak stopped. The Monks beat UNE for the first time since 2004, having lost 13 straight to the Nor’easters. In the last three years, UNE enjoyed routs of 29, 23 and 30 points.

“That stays in the back of your head,” McNamara said. “You really want to prove to them that you can play with them. This is a nice team win for us.”

St. Joseph’s offense clicked all night. The Monks are known for their 3-point shooting, but they passed inside often, with 5-foot-10 Emily Benway scoring 18 on 9-of-10 shooting.

“They (double-teamed) hard on us,” Benway said. “Kelsi and everyone else found the open player.”

Champagne also scored 18, hitting four 3-pointers and grabbing 10 rebounds. McNamara scored 14, with six assists. Marks and Brianne Maloney also had six assists.

“We like to drive and kick out,” Champagne said. “Coach always says make the other players around you better. We just moved the ball quickly and got open shots.”

St. Joseph’s recorded 22 assists on 28 field goals.

“That’s a pretty good sign of sharing the basketball,” Monks Coach Mike McDevitt said.

As a team, the Monks shot 55 percent.

“They have kids who can make tough shots, but they didn’t need to,” UNE Coach Anthony Ewing said. “They got wide-open shots. Our defense was putrid.

“We got exactly what we deserved.”

Laura Holman came off the bench to score 15 for UNE. Ashley Coneys scored 12, and Elyssa Nicholas added 11. The Nor’easters shot 31 percent.

The Monks led by as much as 10 in the first quarter, and took a 39-25 halftime lead.

UNE never threatened in the second half.

“We haven’t been playing well at all,” Ewing said. “We’re playing in a manner asking to be beat.”

The Nor’easters are still atop the Coastal Commonwealth Conference with an 8-1 league record and a one-game lead.

St. Joseph’s is 8-0 in its league, the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference, also with a one-game lead.

“Now we finish with conference games,” McDevitt said. “That’s what you’re striving for. If you finish with a higher seed, you get to host more games (in the league tournament). And we’ve been pretty good at home.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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