BUFFALO, N.Y. – Shira Shecht (Pardessiya, Israel/Hadassim) led 10 Hawks in the scoring column with 10 points, but the Monmouth University women’s basketball team fell to Canisius, 60-52, on Kid’s Day Friday morning at Koessler Athletic Center. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 4-14 (3-4 MAAC), while the Golden Griffins improve to 7-10 (3-5 MAAC).
Shecht did her damage on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range. Jasmine Walker (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick) added nine points and seven rebounds, while Mia Hopkins (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) chipped in with eight points and four rebounds. Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) also had five points and seven rebounds, but turned the ball over a team-high seven times, part of a 25-turnover day for the Hawks.
Jen Morabito scored a game-high 12 points for Canisius, while Kayla Hoohuli and Tiahana Mills had 11 points apiece. Courtney VandeBovenkamp added nine points and a game-high eight rebounds and three steals. Jamie Ruttle also chipped in with eight points, including 6-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line, to go along with five rebounds.
“We were down most of the game and I feel like we made a great run in the second half to come back and take the lead. It was a really, grind-it-out kind of game,” said Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer. “All credit to Canisius. They played unbelievable defense. They really made us earn every point that we scored. I was really proud with how our team stayed poised and were grinding it out until we got the lead in the second half. I’m not unbelievably unhappy with today’s loss. Of course, everybody wants to win. But I thought we did some really good things. We had some key people step up in some key moments. And in a game that points didn’t come easy, I thought we did a good job on defense and keeping us in the game.”
Monmouth led on four occasions in the early going before Canisius went on a 6-0 run to open a 17-12 lead on a pair of Hoohuli free throws at the 4:41 mark. The Golden Griffins’ lead extended to seven on a Ruttle lay-up with 38 seconds left, before Helena Kurt’s (Spanga Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium) three-pointer as the shot clock expired cut the Canisius advantage back down to four, 21-17, at the half. The boisterous Kid’s Day crowd at Koessler Athletic Center contributed to 23 first-half turnovers, 15 by the Hawks.
Paalvast led the Hawks with four points and five rebounds in the half, while Kurt had three and five other Monmouth players scored two points. Mills led Canisius with seven points, but committed five of the Golden Griffins’ eight first-half turnovers. Ruttle and VandeBovenkamp had four points apiece, with VandeBovenkamp also grabbing a team-high four rebounds.
Monmouth cut the Canisius lead to one on four occasions early in the second half before tying the game on Danica Dragicevic’s (Belgrade, Serbia/XV Beogradska Gimnazija) conventional three-point play with 12:53 on the clock. After a Crystal Porter “excuse me” jumper off glass and a Hoohuli jumper gave Canisius a four-point cushion, Monmouth went on an 8-0 run to take a 40-36 lead at the 8:37 mark. Christina Mitchell (Baltimore, Md./MATHS) sparked the run with two free throws, before Jenny Horvatinovic (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion Area) tied the game with a jumper at the 10:24 mark. Walker’s steal and fast-break lay-up at the 9:41 mark put the Hawks on top by two, before she made two free throws at the 8:37 mark to cap the run.
But Canisius countered with an 11-2 run and never trailed again. The Golden Griffins extended the lead to 10 at the free-throw line. In spite of three-pointers in the final minute by Shecht and Walker, Canisius closed out the 60-52 victory.
For the game, Canisius outshot Monmouth 39.2 percent (20-51) to 37.0 percent (20-54) from the floor. Monmouth outshot the Golden Griffins, 38.5 percent (5-13) to 28.6 percent (4-14) from long range, but Canisius took a 72.7 percent (16-22) to 50.0 percent (7-14) edge from the free-throw line. Monmouth outrebounded the Golden Griffins, 40-34, including 17 offensive boards.
The Hawks return to MAAC action in Western New York Sunday, when they face Niagara. Opening tip from ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center in Niagara University, N.Y., is slated for 2 p.m.