WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HOLDS OFF LIU BROOKLYN, 69-60
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) scored 24 points and Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) added 17 points as the Monmouth University women's basketball team defeated LIU Brooklyn, 69-60, Monday night at the Multipurpose Activity Center. With the win, the Hawks improve to 12-12 (9-4 NEC), while the Blackbirds fall to 5-19 (2-11 NEC).
Womack made her first seven shots from inside the three-point arc en route to her point production. Thibault went 3-for-5 from long range and connected on all six of her free-throw attempts. Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) also chipped in eight points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals, while Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Tamika Guz led LIU Brooklyn with 19 points and two blocks, while Krystal Wells had 12 points and four assists. Letava Whippy had a game-high nine assists to go along with six points, five rebounds and two steals.
The first half concluded with the Hawks holding a three-point edge, 35-32. After the Blackbirds scored the game's first four points, the Hawks maintained a lead for much of the initial stanza. With LIU holding a 6-5 lead, Monmouth went on a 7-0 run and scored 12 of the next 16 points to take a seven point lead, 17-10, on Thibault's three-pointer. The Blackbirds scored six straight and 10 of the next 12 points to retake a one-point lead, 20-19, on Cleandra Roberts' lay-up at the 9:05 mark. But six straight points gave Monmouth a five-point lead and the Hawks would hold the advantage for the rest of the period.
Womack led all scorers with 15 points at the half on 7-of-10 shooting, including all six of her attempts from inside the three point arc. Thibault also chipped in with seven points. Guz led the Blackbirds with 10 points at the break.
Womack would stretch to seven-straight made baskets inside the three-point arc, before her eighth attempt wouldn't fall. The Hawks ran out to a seven-point lead, 44-37, on a pair of free throws from Thibault, before the Blackbirds went on a 7-0 run to the game at 44-44. Guz scored twice to spark the run, before Wells buried a three to tie the game. After Betsy Gadziala (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro) converted in the paint, Cleandra Roberts gave the Blackbirds the lead with an excuse-me, off-glass three-pointer.
But Thibault's three-pointer two possessions later at the 10:38 mark gave the Hawks a lead, and after the Blackbirds tied the game at 51-51, Womack's jumper at the 7:51 mark put Monmouth on top for good. The Hawks' lead stretched to eight points on four occasions, before pushing to nine on the second of Singer's free throws with 17 seconds remaining in the game.
For the game, the Blackbirds took a 46.3 percent (25-54) to 45.6 percent (26-57) edge from the floor and a 50.0 percent (5-10) to 41.7 percent (5-12) advantage from long range. Monmouth took an 80.0 percent (12-15) to 71.4 percent (5-7) edge from the free-throw line and turned 22 LIU turnovers into a 26-16 advantage in points off turnovers. Rebounds were an even 32-32, but the Hawks turned 14 offensive boards into 19 points and a 19-9 edge in second-chance points. LIU took a 32-16 advantage in points in the paint.
The Hawks continue Northeast Conference play on the road Wednesday night, when they travel to Hamden, Conn., to make up the regularly-scheduled Feb. 11 game that was snowed out. Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.