BALTIMORE, Md. -
Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) scored 21 points and Chevannah
Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) added 19 points as the Monmouth
University women's basketball team erased a double-digit deficit, but the Hawks
fell at UMBC, 71-68, in their season opener Sunday afternoon at the Retrievers
Activities Center. Monmouth (0-1) trailed by as many as 12 points in the game
and by six with 30 seconds left, but still managed to create an opportunity to
tie the game in the final seconds. UMBC improved to 1-1 with the win.
Betsy Gadziala (Whitesboro,
N.Y./Whitesboro) had a career-high 13 rebounds and four assists for Monmouth,
while Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) narrowly missed a double-double
with eight points and 11 rebounds. Paalvast scored 14 of her 19 points in the second
half to spark the comeback.
Brittany Crowell led all
scorers with 25 points for UMBC, while Lauren Chase scored all of her 15 points
in the second half after a foul-plagued initial stanza. Raven Harris scored all
of her 12 points in the first half, and added a game-high seven steals.
The Hawks jumped out to a 9-5
lead in the early going on the strength of six quick points from Womack. But
the Retrievers responded with 22 of the next 28 points to take a 27-15 lead on
Crowell's bucket at the 8:52 mark of the first half. Monmouth then scored nine
of the next 10 points to cut the deficit to four. Four different Hawks
contributed to the spurt, which was capped by Martin's putback at the 3:51
With 46 seconds left in the
half, Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) buried her second-consecutive
trifecta to cut the UMBC lead to three, 38-35. But Harris made a tough, driving
lay-up to push the UMBC advantage back to five heading into the locker room at
Crowell led UMBC with 16
points at the half, including four three-point field goals. Harris added 12
points for the Retrievers at the break. Womack led Monmouth with nine points at
The UMBC advantage swelled to
nine points on four occasions in the second half, the last coming on Ashley
Lambert's lay-up with just under 10 minutes to play. A pair of Paalvast buckets
in the paint and a Martin jumper at the 7:52 mark cut the deficit to four.
After a Chase jumper made it a six-point UMBC lead, Paalvast made two more
buckets and Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) converted a
lay-up with 3:21 left to tie the game, 60-60, for the first time since a minute
and a half into the first half.
A Chase free throw and lay-up
and Crowell lay-up in succession gave UMBC a five-point lead. The teams
exchanged lay-ups before Chase's free throw with 36 seconds remaining made it a
six-point cushion for UMBC. Womack then made a lightly-contested lay-up, before
Gadziala stole the inbounds pass and fed Womack for another lay-in to cut the
deficit to two points with 17.4 seconds left. Chase made 1-of-2 free throws,
leaving the door open for the Hawks with 13.5 seconds remaining. But Nikki
Lentini's (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [LIU Brooklyn]) three-point attempt wouldn't
fall and the Retrievers took the win.
For the game, Monmouth
outshot the Retrievers, 44.4 percent (28-63) to 41.9 percent (26-62) from the
floor, 42.9 percent (3-7) to 27.3 percent (6-22) from three-point range and
60.0 percent (9-15) to 59.1 percent (13-22) from the free-throw line. MU also
took a 46-31 edge on the glass, but turned the ball over 22 times to the
Retrievers' 14 turnovers.
The Hawks return to action
Friday, when they begin a two-game road trip in Washington against Washington
State (Friday) and Gonzaga (Sunday). Opening tip Friday from Beasley Coliseum
is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT).