STANDISH — When the latest national rankings come out and you’re No. 10, other teams want to take you down.

The Albertus Magnus women’s basketball players had that hope when they took to the Alfond Center court Thursday night, ready to challenge unbeaten St. Joseph’s College.

The Falcons, who came in with a 13-1 record, played physical and stayed with the Monks, tied 29-29 with 6:44 left in the second quarter.

Then came the explosion.

The Monks made six 3-pointers and outscored the Falcons 21-1 for a 50-30 halftime lead and then marched on to a 77-63 win. St. Joseph’s moved to 14-0 and 2-0 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Monks are ranked No. 10 in the poll, and No. 14 in the WBCA coaches’ poll.

St. Joseph’s made a team-record 15 3-pointers. Kelsey McNamara (five 3s) led the Monks with 24 points and 13 assists. Her three fellow seniors also hit double figures – Emily Benway (17), Hannah Marks (15), and Julia Champagne (12).

“Everyone was ready to shoot,” said Marks, a 5-foot-9 forward from Waldoboro who had five 3s, all in the first half. “Just run the offense, find the open person, make good decisions.”

St. Joseph’s missed its first five 3s of the game, then hit 12 of 17 for the rest of the half.

“We got it going there,” St. Joseph’s Coach Mike McDevitt said.

The Monks not only let the bombs fly, they move the ball and find layups, which is why Benway, a 5-10 forward, scored 17.

“We got ’em inside,” Marks said.

St. Joseph’s needed her there as the physical Falcons were muscling inside.

“I like the way my team’s been playing,” Albertus Magnus Coach J.R. Fredette said. “I was hoping our style of play was going to disrupt them.

“It shows you how good they really are, that they can win basketball games different ways. Their coach does a great job, in not only being prepared but in making adjustments.”

For all the offensive might in the second quarter, McNamara liked what happened on the other end.

“We held them to nine points (in the quarter), and that’s what won the game for us,” she said.

McNamara, a 5-6 point guard from West Newbury, Massachusetts, is a nightmare to defend. Without the ball, she moves to open spaces. With the ball, she dribbles for her shot, or finds the open teammate.

When St. Joseph’s finished the first half with those six 3-pointers, McNamara made two of them, and assisted on three others.

The Monks were helped by their role players. Starting sophomore guard Jordan Jabar grabbed six rebounds. Both Julia Quinn and Grace Philippon came off the bench and hit 3s during the first-half siege.

“I like the direction this team is going,” McDevitt said. “They have a lot of potential.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH