The St. Joseph’s College women’s basketball team saw its season end with a 74-63 loss to Ithaca in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Waterville native Jordan Jabar started all 30 games for the Monks (28-2).

“At the beginning of the season, the goal was to get into the NCAA tournament,” said Jabar, a sophomore guard.

The Monks spent most of the season in the d3hoops.com top 25, climbing as high as No. 8 in the county. St. Joe’s was undefeated until a 65-64 loss to Emmanuel in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship game.

“We never really focused on that,” Jabar said of the undefeated streak. “We knew going into every game we had to be our best. Every team wanted to beat St. Joe’s.”

Jabar played in 27 games as a freshman, averaging just under 10 minutes per game. This season, as the lone non-senior in St. Joe’s starting five, Jabar played 22.4 minutes per game, averaging 3.6 points and 4.4 rebounds. Jabar had two points and 10 rebounds in the Monks’ 68-61 win over MIT in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

“With the other four starters all being seniors, it was kind of an easy transition for me,” Jabar said. “They’re all big scorers.”

Jabar looks forward to taking on an expanded role next season.

“I think it will be an advantage for me to step up in a bigger role and be counted on to score,” Jabar said.

 

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There’s a good chance that fans who wait until the last minute to get tickets to the University of Maine women’s basketball team’s America East semifinal game Sunday could be left out of the crowd.

With the Professional Bull Riders stopping at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center this weekend, the Black Bears’ conference semifinal game against Albany will be played in Memorial Gym — the Pit — on campus, at 1 p.m.. The Pit seats just over 1,300 fans, well below the Cross Center’s capacity of 5,800, but not much lower than the announced crowd for Wednesday’s 69-36 win over New Hampshire, 1,764.

The Black Bears routinely hold practice in the Pit and even hosted an early season tournament in the old gym last season, playing Tulane and Harvard. If Maine defeats Albany, the conference final will be back at the Cross Center on Friday. Playing in the Pit will be a fun experience, junior Blanca Millan said.

“I think it’s going to be very exciting. We practice there every day,” Millan said.

Millan gave fans and her teammates a scare midway through the third quarter Wednesday, when she took a hard fall lunging for a pass. Millan crashed into the floor at the base of the basket, but quickly got up and continued the game. Millan played 35 of the games’ 40 minutes, and after the game smiled when asked about the fall, saying she felt fine.

“She’s dramatic. Don’t let her fool you,” Maine coach Amy Vachon said with a laugh.

The top seed in America East, Maine (23-7) beat Albany (13-17) twice in the regular season, 76-65 at the Cross Center, and 67-61 at Albany.

 

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Augusta native Lauren Murray was recently honored by Kents Hill School as the girls basketball team’s most valuable player and the female winter sportsmanship winner. Murray scored 394 points in two seasons at Kents Hill, including a career-high 28 in a win over Vinalhaven.

A point guard, Murray was asked to do a lot of things for the Huskies, Kents Hill coach RJ Jenkins said.

“She was our primary ballhandler and our best passer, charged with setting up others and handling the ball against pressure as our only real experienced guard,” Jenkins said. “Lauren handled important defensive assignments and was our quarterback on defense, calling out changes and keeping our team together on that end.”

A veteran on a young team, Murray helped set the tone for the Huskies, Jenkins said.

“After last season in which the team had a strong record and made the prelims, this was a challenging step back as we went 5-11. However, I couldn’t be more impressed with how Lauren handled it,” Jenkins said. “It would be easy for a player like Lauren to complain but she was a model of positivity and hard work, win or lose. She continued to look for others rather than just go for her own points.”

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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