WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Behind Sara English’s (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) second-straight double-double and a season-high 52.5 percent shooting from the floor, the Monmouth University women’s basketball defeated Manhattan, 75-70, Sunday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center. With the win, the Hawks improve to 5-16 (4-6 MAAC), while evening the season series with the Jaspers (4-15, 3-7 MAAC).
English matched her career-high with 19 points, established Friday night against Iona, on 8-of-12 shooting while also adding a career-high 14 rebounds. Seven of English’s rebounds came on the offensive glass. The double-double was the fifth of English’s career and her second in as many games. Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Mia Hopkins (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) also chipped in with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-4 from long range. Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) added nine points and six assists, while Jasmine Walker (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick) was also productive with eight points and four assists. Monmouth easily eclipsed its former season high of 16 assists with 21 dimes on the day.
Monica Roeder led Manhattan with 20 points, five rebounds and three steals. Allison Skrec compiled a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists, while Ashley Stec also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points.
“I think it’s huge,” said Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer of her team’s balance on offense. “The more balance that we can have, the harder we’re going to be to stop. I was really happy with how we shared the ball today. We got to open spots, we slid to open spots. Kasey Chambers was phenomenal with six assists off the bench. I think it’s a direct reflection of getting good shots today, which we’re very capable of when we move the ball like we did.”
A back-and-forth first half ended with the Hawks on a 15-2 run to take a 34-30 lead into the locker room. Manhattan used a 16-4 spurt to turn a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead, 28-19, on Skrec’s driving lay-up at the 5:38 mark. But Paalvast’s three-point play at the 5:20 mark sparked the 15-2 Monmouth run to close the half. Paalvast scored nine points in the spurt, while English added four points and three rebounds, two on the offensive glass.
For the half, Paalvast paced the Hawks with 14 points, while English had eight points and nine rebounds, five offensive. Walker added six points and three assists, while Chambers also dished out three assists. Katie Reese and Roeder had eight points apiece to lead Manhattan, with each canning a pair of treys. Skrec distributed four assists for the Jaspers.
After Monmouth extended the lead to 44-37 on a Walker runner at the 13:54 mark, a Roeder three and Skrec three-point play cut the Hawks’ lead to one, 44-43, with 13:05 left in regulation. But Monmouth immediately responded with an 11-0 run to open a 12-point lead, 55-43. Hopkins sparked and capped the run with three-pointers at the 11:17 and 8:17 marks.
The lead swelled to 13, the Hawks’ largest advantage of the day, on Hopkins’ lay-up at the 6:02 mark. Monmouth led by 12 points with 1:30 left to play and Manhattan scored nine of the final 11 points to account for the final 75-70 score.
Monmouth was coming off a tough loss to Iona on Friday night, in which the Hawks’ whittled a one-time 24-point Gaels lead to three late in regulation. But Monmouth came back with tremendous energy Sunday afternoon.
“They’re ready every day,” said Palmateer. “That’s the one thing I don’t have to worry about. I don’t have to coach energy with this team. They come to every game ready to go”
For the game, Monmouth outshot Manhattan, 52.5 percent (31-59) to 43.3 percent (26-60) from the floor and 46.2 percent (6-13) to 41.2 percent (7-17) from long range. The Jaspers took a 64.7 percent (11-17) to 53.8 percent (7-13) edge from the free-throw line, but Monmouth outrebounded Manhattan soundly, 44-27. The Hawks also took a 28-10 advantage in bench scoring.
The Hawks return to MAAC action Thursday, when they travel to intrastate MAAC foe Saint Peter’s. Opening tip from the Yanitelli Center is slated for 2 p.m.