STANDISH — With top-seeded Saint Joseph’s College trying to secure the Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament title and an NCAA berth, Brianne Maloney didn’t mind putting her body on the line Saturday.

In fact, the freshman from South Portland welcomed it, taking three charges as the Monks slipped past third-seeded Emmanuel 66-62 to win their second conference title in three years and avenging their lone regular-season league loss.

“I’ve always known that defense is one of the strongest things I can do to help the team,” Maloney said. “If I can go out there and make any sort of defensive play that will turn around and move us into the offensive end, that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

The first charge came with 5:02 remaining in the half and the Saints threatening to pull away. With Emmanuel in the middle of a 12-2 run and ahead by six, Maloney halted a layup by taking a charge in the paint.

On the next possession, freshman Kelsi McNamara – the tournament MVP – unleashed a 3-pointer from near half court as the shot clock expired, kicking off an 11-3 run as the Monks (23-5) climbed back into it.

Maloney, who scored nine points, took a second charge with just over a minute to go in the third quarter, keeping the deficit at one point. The next trip down the floor, Maloney hit a spinning layup, drawing a foul and hitting the free throw to push St. Joseph’s back on top, this time for good.

Her final charge came with just over three minutes left against Lena Negri, who eventually fouled out with a game-high 23 points with 12 rebounds.

“Those are big plays because they’re probably going to be scoring plays for the offense and it takes that away, so it’s really like a four-point swing,” said Monks Coach Mike McDevitt. “Bri’s the best I’ve ever had at drawing offensive fouls.”

Added Maloney: “Taking charges is something I like to do. Whenever I get the opportunity, I enjoy it. Growing up, my dad told me to play with heart. A lot of times people don’t want to take charges (but) I don’t mind getting in there and getting dirty.”

McNamara, who scored a team-high 20 points – 11 in the second quarter – had three of her four turnovers late in the fourth as the Saints (21-7) mounted a comeback. But clinging to a two-point lead, she picked off a pass and hit both free throws to help secure the win.

“We’ll be as good as she makes us,” said McDevitt. “She didn’t get down. She kept her confidence up and made a huge play at the right time.”

Morgan Cahill of Yarmouth had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Emily Benway added 11 points for the Monks.