WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO SAINT FRANCIS, 63-49
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) scored a game-high 18 points and hit four three-pointers, but the Monmouth University women's basketball team's comeback bid against Saint Francis University fell short in a 63-49 loss Monday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center. With the setback, the Hawks fall to 5-10 (2-2 NEC) while the Red Flash maintains its unblemished conference mark at 9-6 (4-0 NEC).
Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) added 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench. No other Hawk had more than four points. Thibault also added a career-high nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) paced the Hawks with four steals apiece.
Nickia Gibbs led Saint Francis with 17 points, while Alli Williams added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Williams also added a team-high four steals. Brittany Lilley dished out a game-high five assists.
The Red Flash scored first and never trailed. Saint Francis scored seven of the first nine points and gradually worked the lead up to 18 points on Williams' jumper with 40 seconds left in the first half. A pair of Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) free throws cut the deficit to 29-13 at the half. Gibbs led Saint Francis with eight points at the break, while Williams added seven points and eight rebounds prior to the halftime buzzer. Womack led the Hawks with five points, while four other Hawks had two points each. The Hawks struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 16.0 percent (4-25) from the floor.
With the Red Flash leading by 20, 41-21, with 13:33 remaining in the second half, the Hawks reeled off nine straight points from four different players to cut the deficit to 11. Later in the half, a Thibault three-pointer, one of four buried by the senior guard in the half, cut the Red Flash lead to 10 points with 3:36 remaining. But the Hawks would draw no closer. Monmouth outscored Saint Francis, 36-34, in the second half.
For the game, the Red Flash outshot the Hawks, 46.7 percent (21-45) to 29.1 percent (16-55) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-14) to 33.3 percent (6-18) from long range. The Hawks took a 68.8 percent (11-16) to 62.5 percent (15-24) edge from the free-throw line. The teams each grabbed 35 rebounds. Saint Francis outscored the Hawks, 29-19, off turnovers, while the Hawks took the edge in second-chance points (16-9) and bench scoring (22-6).
The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play Saturday afternoon at LIU Brooklyn. Opening tip from the Wellness Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.