THIBAULT'S 21 FUELS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PAST CCSU, 69-63
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) scored a career-high 21 points, while Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) added a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds as the Monmouth University women's basketball team defeated Central Connecticut, 69-63, Monday night at the Multipurpose Activity Center. With the win, the Hawks improve to 9-12 (6-4 NEC), while the Blue Devils fall to 11-10 (5-5 NEC).
Thibault did her damage on a near-perfect shooting night, including 4-of-6 shooting from the floor, 4-for-4 from long range and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Of English's 11 rebounds, six came on the offensive glass, as the Hawks outrebounded CCSU, 49-25. Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) added 10 points and six rebounds, while Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) dished out four assists apiece.
Womack also added nine points, while Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J/Columbia) contributed eight points, including the 1,000th of her career. Martin also grabbed five rebounds, including several key caroms late. The Hawks shot 83.3 percent (25-30) from the free-throw line, including 23 of their final 26 attempts.
Jaclyn Babe scored a team-high 20 points for the Blue Devils, while sister Jessica Babe added eight points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Kayla Miller blocked a team-high three shots for CCSU.
After five lead changes in the early going, CCSU established a seven-point cushion, 18-11, with a 10-1 run. After MU countered with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to one, CCSU responded with seven of the next nine points to retake a 27-21 lead with 4:16 to go in the half. But Monmouth went on a 9-0 run, capped by Adriana Allen's (Ajax, Ontario/Pickering) fast-break lay-up at the 1:21 mark, to take a three-point lead. The Hawks carried the same three-point edge into the locker room at halftime, 32-29.
Womack and English led the Hawks with seven points apiece at the half, while English also had a team-high four rebounds. Jaclyn Babe led CCSU with 10 point at the break.
The Blue Devils scored the second half's first four points to retake the lead, before Thibault answered with a four-point play, connecting on a transition three while being knocked down at the 17:24 mark. Five-straight Jessica Babe points gave the lead back to CCSU, before a pair of Womack free throws with 12:40 remaining gave the Hawks the lead for good.
CCSU didn't go down without a fight, however. After the Hawks had built their lead up to seven points, the Blue Devils gradually whittled the deficit down to one on a pair of Kaley Watras free throws with 3:18 to play. Monmouth pushed the lead back up to seven on six-straight free throws, two each from Thibault, Singer and Martin, by the 1:25 mark. CCSU would draw no closer than to within four points the rest of the way. Thibault made all eight of her free-throw attempts in the final 2:11.
For the game, the Blue Devils took a 40.7 percent (24-59) to 36.5 percent (19-52) edge from the floor, but Monmouth outshot Central Connecticut, 46.2 percent (6-13) to 23.5 percent (4-17) from long range and 83.3 percent (25-30) to 68.8 percent (11-16) from the free-throw line. Monmouth outrebounded CCSU, 49-25, while the Blue Devils took a 19-9 edge in turnovers.
The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play Saturday afternoon, when they travel to intrastate foe Fairleigh Dickinson. Opening tip from Stratis Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.