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BASKETBALL (W)

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DEFEATS ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN, 51-47

Updated: February 28, 2013 - 3:43 p.m. (ET)
Monmouth Sports Information

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) scored a team-high 14 points, while Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) added eight of her nine points in the second half as the Monmouth University women's basketball team defeated St. Francis Brooklyn, 51-47, on Play 4Kay Day at the Multipurpose Activity Center Saturday. With the win, the Hawks improve to 11-12 (8-4 NEC), while the Terriers fall to 10-14 (7-6 NEC).

Paalvast joined Martin in scoring eight second-half points, while Martin added a career-high four blocks. Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) added eight points, five rebounds and a career-high four steals. Danica Dragicevic (Belgrade, Serbia/XV Beogradska Gimnazija) also chipped in six points, five rebounds and three assists.

Jessica Kaufman scored a game-high 18 points, 16 in the second half, for the Terriers, while Sarah Benedetti scored all 11 of her points in the first half. Leah Fechko also added eight points and a game-high eight rebounds. Katie Fox dished out a game-high five assists for St. Francis.

The first half was a defensive battle that resulted in a 21-21 tie at the half. After the Terriers scored the game's first five points, the Hawks scored 12 of the next 15 points to open a four-point lead, 12-8, on Alysha Womack's (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) three-pointer. St. Francis tied the game with four-straight points and the game remained tied at 14-14 after the teams exchanged lay-ups. The Hawks then went on a 7-0 run to take a 21-14 lead, before the Terriers matched the run to close the half. On different occasions in the first half, the Hawks held St. Francis without a field goal for stretches of 7:18 and 5:23.

Benedetti led all scorers at the half with 11 points, while Paalvast and Thibault had six points apiece to lead Monmouth. Monmouth scored nine of its 21 points off the Terriers' 10 first-half turnovers.

After a back-and-forth beginning of the second half, the Terriers went on a 10-0 run to take a nine-point lead, 35-26, on the strength of eight points from Kaufman. But the Hawks scored 16 of the next 20 points to take a four-point lead. Dragicevic got the scoring started with a putback at the 12:33 mark, before Martin scored in the paint. Following baskets by each team, Dragicevic scored on a third-chance opportunity at the 9:53 mark to cut the deficit to three.

Martin fed Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) down low to cut the SFC lead to one. After a Jaymee Veney bucket at the 8:47 mark pushed the Terriers' advantage to three, Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) knocked down a corner three to tie the game, 39-39, with 8:17 left to play. Paalvast then made two free throws and the Hawks never trailed again.

The Terriers drew to within two at the 6:27 mark, but the Hawks eventually pushed the lead to eight when Dragicevic fed the ball from the high post down on Martin on the block for two with 3:32 remaining in regulation. St. Francis cut the deficit to four on two occasions, including the final tally, but could draw no closer.

For the game, the Terriers took a 40.0 percent (20-50) to 36.4 percent (20-55) advantage from the floor and a 57.1 percent (4-7) to 50.0 percent (7-14) edge from the charity stripe. Monmouth edged St. Francis, 25.0 percent (4-16) to 23.1 percent (3-13) from long range and outrebounded the Terriers, 37-36. Monmouth outscored St. Francis, 21-10, off turnovers, in spite of being just +3 in turnover margin (18-15).  

The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play at home Monday night, when they welcome LIU Brooklyn to the Multipurpose Activity Center. Opening tip is slated for 7 p.m.

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