WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ERASES 15-POINT DEFICIT TO STUN LIU
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Chevannah Paalvast's (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) driving lay-up with 3.6 seconds left gave the Monmouth University women's basketball team a dramatic, come-from-behind 63-62 victory over LIU Brooklyn, Saturday afternoon at the Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center. Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the second half as the Hawks (6-10, 3-2 NEC) turned a 15-point second-half deficit into the victory. The Blackbirds fall to 3-13 (0-5 NEC) with loss.
"In the timeout, Coach told me that the final shot would be on me to make it. It got me a little nervous, but pumped. When I went down the lane and I was wide open, I was just like, 'please make this,'" said Paalvast. She explained that her focus quickly shifted. "Get a stop," said Paalvast. "Don't let them score in these last three seconds. As soon as the buzzer went off, it was the best feeling."
Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) matched her season high with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Paalvast also finished in double figures with 11 points.
Krystal Wells scored 18 points and added five steals for LIU, while Tamika Guz added 15 points. Kelly Robinson dished out a game-high six assists.
A one-possession game turned into a double-digit LIU lead when the Blackbirds went on a 9-0 run to extend to 23-11 lead at the 9:50 mark of the first half. Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) snapped the run with a three-pointer at the 9:33 mark and three quick Martin jumpers cut the deficit to four, 27-23, with 4:34 remaining in the half. But the Blackbirds outscored Monmouth, 7-3, in the final minutes to give LIU an eight-point edge, 34-26, at the halftime break.
Martin led the Hawks with six points at the half, while Guz led the Blackbirds with nine points. LIU outrebounded the Hawks, 32-12, in the opening stanza, and took a 13-4 edge in second-chance points.
LIU extended its lead to 15 points, 45-30, by the 13:48 mark of the second half, before Monmouth outscored the Blackbirds, 18-2, over the next six and a half minutes to take its first lead, 48-47, since 7-6 just over three minutes into the first half. Womack scored nine points in the spurt, including the jumper that put the Hawks on top.
Seven lead changes later, the Hawks' comeback bid appeared to be for naught, as Cleandra Roberts converted a putback three-point play with 28 seconds remaining in regulation to put the Blackbirds on top by four, 62-58. But just seconds later, Womack was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws to cut the deficit to three. MU then fouled Letava Whippy, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Womack then got into the lane and converted a lay-up with 16 seconds left to cut the deficit to one.
Monmouth again fouled, this time sending Wells to the charity stripe, and like Whippy, Wells erred on the front end. Paalvast grabbed the defensive rebound, sprinted across half court and the Hawks called timeout. Head Coach Jenny Palmateer drew up an isolation play at the top of the key for Paalvast, who beat her defender one-on-one and buried the uncontested lay-up with 3.6 seconds left.
Out of timeouts, LIU inbounded to Wells, whose desperation heave from 35 feet as time expired failed to draw iron.
For the game, the Hawks outshot the Blackbirds, 43.9 percent (25-57) to 37.9 percent (25-66) from the floor and 45.5 percent (5-11) to 30.8 percent (4-13) from long range. LIU took a 57.1 percent (8-14) to 44.4 percent (8-18) edge from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Hawks, 53-29. MU turned 18 Blackbird turnovers into 27 points, while LIU was limited to 11 points on 12 Monmouth turnovers. LIU took a 21-9 edge in second-chance points.
The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play in Brooklyn Monday afternoon at St. Francis Brooklyn. Opening tip from the Pope Physical Education Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.