LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Shira Shect (Pardessiya, Israel/Hadassim) and Mia Hopkins (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) scored 13 points apiece as the Monmouth University women’s basketball team cruised past Siena, 64-49, on Kid’s Day at the Alumni Recreation Center Monday morning. With the win, the Hawks’ first on the road this season, Monmouth improves to 4-13 (3-3 MAAC). Siena is now 6-9 (1-5 MAAC). Monmouth built an 18-point lead at the half, already its largest lead of the season, before extending the lead to as many as 29 points in the second half to coast to the victory.
Shecht shot 5-of-6 from the floor and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, narrowly missing her first-career double-double. Hopkins knocked down 6-of-8 field-goal attempts, including her only attempt from long range. Helena Kurt (Spanga, Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium) also scored eight points, while Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) and Jenny Horvatinovic (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion Area) scored six points apiece.
Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey), who entered the game averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game, played facilitator, with four points, seven rebounds and five assists on just four field-goal attempts (2-4) on the day. The Hawks outrebounded Siena, 48-26, while taking a 32-14 edge in bench scoring. Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) also added three blocks, two steals and four rebounds for Monmouth.
Ciara Stewart led Siena with 13 points, while Meghan Donahue added 12 points. Both Stewart and Donohue made 5-of-7 attempts. Stewart also added five steals.
“This was the most complete games we’ve played,” said Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer. “The last two games we’ve had great team wins. We were able to play a complete game, offensively and defensively. I’m happy to see us moving in that direction. The other piece is we have a lot of players, Jas Walker, Chevy, who are typical contributors for us, day in and day out. So it’s really nice for me and the team to see that they can contribute in other ways and other people can step up and take care of the scoring when we need them to.”
Monmouth ambushed Siena in the first half, shooting 55.6 percent (15-27) from the floor, including 4-of-6 from long range. The Hawks gradually worked their lead up to 18 points, 37-19, at the half. Shecht buried all five of her field-goal attempts, including a three-pointer to lead the Hawks with 11 points and seven rebounds in the stanza. Hopkins added nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a trifecta. The Hawks held Siena to 28.6 percent (8-28) from the floor, including 10.0 percent (1-10) from long range, in the first half. Despite forcing just four Siena turnovers in the first half, the Hawks did their damage on the glass to the tune of a 25-10 advantage. Stewart led Siena with seven points at the break, while Clara Sole Anglada added six.
The Hawks continued to jump all over the Saints with an 8-0 run to begin the second half. Jasmine Walker (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick) had four points in the spurt. The Hawks gradually worked the lead up to 29 points, their largest lead of the season, at 64-35 with 6:24 left in regulation. Siena scored the final 14 points over the final six minutes, but it was too little, too late.
“It’s another sign that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Palmateer. “I feel like, as a young team, we’re settling into our roles and understand our strengths a little more. When we’re playing with that kind of confidence, things just come a lot easier for us on both ends of the floor. Hopefully we’ll be able to get that a lot more often, because it’s fun to watch. The ball movement, our shot selection was really good for the most part. It’s just really fun to watch when we have that. We rebounded out of our defenses and I was really happy with our rebounding.”
For the game, Monmouth outshot Siena, 47.3 percent (26-55) to 33.3 percent (19-57) from the floor, 42.9 percent (6-14) to 11.1 percent (2-18) from long range and 75.0 percent (6-8) to 50.0 percent (9-18) from the free-throw line.
The Hawks return to MAAC action Friday at 11 a.m., when they play their third-straight Kid’s Day game at Canisius.