WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO HIGH POINT, 81-74
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) scored a career-high 22 points, but the Monmouth University women's basketball team fell to High Point, 81-74, in the opening round of the Navy Classic Friday afternoon at Alumni Hall. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 2-4, while the Panthers improve to 3-4. Monmouth will face the losing team in Friday's second game between host Navy and East Carolina. If the Hawks face ECU, the game will be at 3:30 p.m. A pairing with Navy would result in a 6 p.m. tip.
Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) added 19 points for the Hawks, while Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) scored all 15 of her points in a furious comeback to start the second half that saw the Hawks erase a 13-point deficit and take a four-point lead.
Lindsay Puckett led High Point with 21 points, while Stacia Robertson had a double-double of 17 points and 10 points. Tayler Tremblay added 13 points and eight assists, while Tori Cook also finished in double figures with 10 points.
The Hawks trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half following an early 10-0 run by High Point. Four points late in the half helped Monmouth cut the deficit to seven, 35-28, at halftime. Paalvast led all scorers with 11 points at the break, while Womack added eight points. Robertson led High Point with nine points, while Puckett, Cook and Kendra Wallace had six points each. Tremblay had seven assists at the break.
Martin started the second half on fire, making four-straight shots from the floor and another three from the free-throw line, to help put the Hawks on top, 43-39. But High Point would go on a 15-1 run to retake a double-digit lead and never trailed again.
Down 10 in the final minute, Monmouth made things interesting with back-to-back three-pointers within 11 seconds of each other from Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and Paalvast sandwiched around a Thibault steal to cut the deficit to four, 76-72, with 48 seconds remaining. Monmouth would again steal the ensuing inbounds pass, as Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) made the theft and fed Paalvast. But her three-point attempt wouldn't fall and the Hawks would draw no closer.
For the game, the Panthers outshot the Hawks, 45.5 percent (30-66) to 40.9 percent (27-66) from the floor, and 41.7 percent (5-12) to 20.0 percent (3-15) from long range. The Hawks took an 81.0 percent (17-21) to 53.3 percent (16-30) advantage from the free-throw line, but were outrebounded, 49-37. High Point committed 20 turnovers to the Hawks' 19, but outscored Monmouth, 28-22, in points off turnovers and took a 19-10 edge in second-chance points.