WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOSES HEARTBREAKER TO BRYANT, 58-55
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Monmouth University women's basketball team erased a 12-point halftime deficit but lost a heartbreaker to Bryant, 58-55, Saturday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 8-12 (5-4 NEC), while the Bulldogs improve to 7-13 (4-5 NEC).
Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) led the Hawks with 11 points, while Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) and Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) added nine points apiece. The nine points establish a new career high for Chambers, while Martin now stands two points shy of 1,000 for her career.
Naana Ankoma-Mensa led Bryant with a double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Danielle Douglas added 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jenniqua Bailey added nine points for BU.
After the Hawks scored the game's first five points, Bryant went on a 9-0 run to take a lead it'd hold onto for the remainder of the half. Bryant outscored MU, 32-15, after the initial 5-0 run by the Hawks and took a 32-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. Ankoma-Mensa led Bryant with a double-double in the first half alone with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Douglas and Courtney Schissler added six points apiece for the Bulldogs. Chambers led the Hawks with seven points, enough to eclipse her career high in just 20 minutes.
The Hawks came out hot in the second half, led by Martin's quick six points to cut the deficit to six, 34-28, less than two minutes into the stanza. Down seven with 12:12 to go, MU went on a 9-0 run to take its first lead since the early going of the first half. Adriana Allen (Ajax, Ontario/Pickering) scored four points in the run, including a move in the lane to tie the game, 44-44, with 9:18 to go in regulation. Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) gave the Hawks the lead on a pair of free throws at the 8:30 mark.
Four straight Bailey free throws and a fast-break lay-up off a Monmouth turnover on a ball that appeared to be kicked by a Bulldog defender gave Bryant a four-point lead, 50-46, with 6:26 to go. The Hawks whittled the lead down to one point four times, but could not get over the hump. With nine seconds left, Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) scored on a putback while being fouled to cut the deficit to one. But her free throw wouldn't fall.
Douglas made two free throws for Bryant with less than four seconds remaining. Down three, the Hawks had the length of the floor to go and could not get a shot off before the final horn.
For the game, the Bulldogs outshot the Hawks, 38.2 percent (21-55) to 30.5 percent (18-59) from the floor, while taking a 48-37 edge on the boards. MU took an 18.2 percent (2-11) to 9.1 percent (1-11) edge from long range and a 70.8 percent (17-24) to 62.5 percent (15-24) advantage from the free-throw line. The Hawks forced 24 turnovers in the game.
The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play at home Monday night, when they welcome Central Connecticut. Opening tip from the Multipurpose Activity Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.