SACRED HEART RUNS PAST WOMEN'S BASKETBALL, 56-42
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, but the Monmouth University women's basketball team fell to Sacred Heart, 56-42, Saturday afternoon at the William H. Pitt Center. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 7-11 (4-3 NEC), while the Pioneers improve to 12-7 (4-3 NEC).
Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) added nine points, while Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and Betsy Gadziala (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro) chipped in with seven points apiece.
Gabrielle Washington paced SHU with 24 points and six steals, while Kiley Evans scored an efficient 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range. Ericka Norman dished out eight assists in 21 foul-plagued minutes.
Both teams came out with hot shooting to begin the game, resulting in a 10-7 lead by Sacred Heart just over three minutes into the game. The Pioneers used a 7-0 run to open up a 14-7 lead on Evans' jumper at the 14:56 mark and eventually extended to a nine-point lead on Washington's three-point play at the 9:45 mark. But MU used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to two, 22-20. Four different Hawks scored in the stretch. Sacred Heart pushed the lead to three at the break, 28-25.
Thibault and Paalvast led a balanced MU offense in the first half with six points apiece, while Womack and Gadziala added five points each. Evans and Washington led Sacred Heart with 10 points apiece. The Pioneers took a 10-4 edge in points in the paint.
The Pioneers started the second half on a 13-0 run to push its lead to double digits, where it would stay the remainder of the contest. MU battled back from down 18 to cut the deficit to 12 on Jasmine Walker's (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick) lay-up at the 8:04 mark, but the Hawks would get no closer.
For the game, the Pioneers outshot the Hawks, 43.6 percent (24-55) to 29.2 percent (14-48) from the floor, 31.3 percent (5-16) to 26.7 percent (4-15) from long range and 75.0 percent (3-4) to 45.5 percent (10-22) from the free-throw line. Monmouth took a 38-32 edge on the boards, but the Pioneers took a 22-8 advantage in points in the paint. SHU also outscored the Hawks, 8-0, on fast-break points.
The Hawks return home to continue Northeast Conference play Monday night, when they play host to Garden State rival Fairleigh Dickinson. Opening tip from the Multipurpose Activity Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.