WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) scored
15 of her team-high 17 points in the second half as the Monmouth University
women's basketball team outlasted Mount St. Mary's, 71-63, Monday night at the
Multipurpose Activity Center. The Hawks outscored the Mountaineers, 30-13, over
the final 10 minutes of the second half to turn a nine-point deficit into the
eight-point win. With the win, the Hawks conclude the regular season at 15-14
(12-6 NEC) and secure the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament. Their
quarterfinal-round opponent will be the sixth-seeded Mountaineers, who finished
the season with a 14-15 (10-8 NEC) mark. The game will be played Sunday at 3
p.m. at the MAC.
Womack made her last five
field-goal attempts and all four of her second-half free throws to finish with
17 points, while also adding a team-high five assists. Abigail Martin (Maplewood,
N.J./Columbia) made 4-of-6 attempts on the game and 3-of-5 in the second half
to add 11 points. She also chipped in with six rebounds. Carly Thibault (East
Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey)
contributed 11 points apiece. Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West
[UMass]) also added eight points and six rebounds.
Selina Mann scored a
game-high 20 points for Mount St. Mary's on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and
9-for-9 from the charity stripe. Sydney Henderson added 13 points and a
game-high seven rebounds, while Tara Lonergan also finished in double figures
with 10 points.
The Mountaineers immediately
jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the early going before extending the lead to eight
on two occasions, the last on a Lonergan jumper in the paint at the 8:34 mark. Monmouth
responded with 15 of the next 21 points, including six straight from English,
to take its first lead, 24-22, on Thibault's three at the 4:30 mark. With the Hawks
leading 26-24, the Mountaineers outscored the Hawks, 10-1, to take a
seven-point lead before another Thibault trifecta cut the deficit to four,
34-30, at the half.
Thibault led the Hawks with
seven points at the half, while Mann led Mount St. Mary's with 11 points,
including 7-for-7 shooting from the free-throw line. The Mountaineers overcame
10 first-half turnovers with 57.1 percent (12-21) shooting from the floor and
90.0 percent (9-10) from the free-throw line. The Hawks made 87.5 percent (7-8)
from the line, but three Monmouth starters - Paalvast, Martin and Gabby Singer
(Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) - were each whistled for two fouls and saw
limited first-half minutes.
Out of the break, a Mann
three-pointer and a Lonergan jumper gave the Mountaineers a nine-point lead. On
four occasions, the Mount rebuilt the lead to nine points, the last coming on
Ashley Christie's three-pointer at the 10:48 mark. But the Hawks would outscore
the Mountaineers, 30-13, from that point forward.
A Martin free throw got the
spurt started, before Womack, Martin and Paalvast each scored a two-point
bucket to whittle the deficit down to two points. After the teams exchanged
buckets, Paalvast tied the game at 52-52 with a pair of free throws with 6:08
to play. The Mountaineers threw over the top of the Hawks' full-court press
after the Paalvast free throws for a Kayla Grossett fast-break lay-up. But
following a Singer offensive rebound, Womack canned a three-pointer with 5:48
left to play to put the Hawks on top for the first time since the 2:59 mark of
the first half.
A Henderson three-point play
swayed the momentum and the lead back to Mount St. Mary's, 57-55, with 4:38
left. But following a Thibault driving lay-up on the next possession that tied
the game at 57-57, a pair of Womack free throws with 3:12 left in regulation
gave Monmouth a lead it would not relinquish. An 8-0 run, including a pair of
pivotal Martin post moves, gave Monmouth a six-point cushion. The Mountaineers
could draw no closer than to within four the rest of the way.
For the game, the
Mountaineers outshot the Hawks, 44.2 percent (23-52) to 37.9 percent (22-58)
from the floor. The Hawks took a 33.3 percent (5-15) to 21.4 percent (3-14)
advantage from long range and an 88.0 percent (22-25) to 82.4 percent (14-17)
edge from the free-throw line. Monmouth outrebounded Mount St. Mary's, 39-31.