WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University women’s basketball team led Quinnipiac for much of the first 32 minutes, but the Bobcats surged past the Hawks, 83-67, Friday night at the Multipurpose Activity Center. Quinnipiac (14-9, 9-4 MAAC) outscored the Hawks (6-19, 5-9 MAAC), 25-5, in the final eight minutes of regulation to pull ahead for good.
Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) led the Hawks, tying her season high with 23 points. Mia Hopkins (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) chipped in with nine points and five rebounds, while Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) had six points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Helena Kurt (Spanga, Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium) contributed eight points, four rebounds and four assists, while Jenny Horvatinovic (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion Area) had seven points. Christina Mitchell (Baltimore, Md./MATHS) and Jasmine Walker (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick) had six points apiece, with Mitchell also grabbing six rebounds.
Samantha Guastella led Quinnipiac with a game-high 24 points, while Jasmine Martin added 16 points. Brittany McQuain had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Gillian Abshire dished out a game-high 10 assists for the Bobcats.
“I was really happy with our first half. I was not happy at all with the second half,” said Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer. “There were times when we were just really disorganized and very undisciplined on both ends of the floor. We really weren’t communicating with each other on the defensive end and doing random things on the offensive end at critical times. That definitely wasn’t our best basketball in the second half. We’re a team that has to be a whole lot more disciplined on both ends of the floor if we’re going to win games.”
Quinnipiac came out firing off the opening tip, as Guastella and Martin each buried threes to stake the Bobcats to a 6-0 lead. But Monmouth fired back with the next seven points, including five from Paalvast. After Quinnipiac pulled to within one point, 17-16, on a Guastella three, Monmouth went on a 7-0 run to open an eight-point lead, 24-16. Kasey Chambers (Belmar, N.J./St. Rose) started the run with a jumper, before Paalvast nailed a three. Hopkins punctuated the run with a lay-up at the 9:31 mark. Monmouth’s lead gradually grew to 11, 29-18, on another Hopkins lay-up at the 8:03 mark.
The Bobcats methodically whittled the lead down until a 7-0 run to close the half tied the game at 35-35. Adily Martucci knocked down a corner three with 29 seconds left in the half to tie the game. Monmouth was led by Paalvast’s 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range. Hopkins and Kurt added six points apiece at the break. English pulled down six rebounds. McQuain led Quinnipiac with 12 points, while Guastella added nine points. Martin also chipped in with five points, while Abshire dished out four assists.
Monmouth scored eight of the first 10 points in the second half to jump back in front, 43-37. Paalvast sparked the run with a jumper and capped it with a lay-up off an inbound play. The lead remained six with 15:05 remaining in regulation before the Bobcats started to cut into it. Quinnipiac took its first lead since five minutes into the first half on Abshire’s three-pointer at the 11:52 mark. The Hawks regained the lead on Paalvast’s conventional three-point play at the 10:20 mark and, after a Guastella three-pointer tied the game at 58-58, Walker knocked down a jumper in the paint to give Monmouth a 60-58 lead with 8:53 remaining.
But Quinnipiac retook the lead on Guastella’s three-pointer at the 7:50 mark and did not trail again. The trifecta sparked a 14-2 run as the Bobcats took a double-digit lead. A Hopkins three-point play at the 4:19 mark made it a seven-point deficit, but that was the closest Monmouth would get. Quinnipiac outscored the Hawks, 25-5, over the final eight minutes to seal the victory.
For the game, the Hawks outshot the Bobcats, 42.6 percent (29-68) to 40.3 percent (27-67) from the floor and outrebounded Quinnipiac, 44-37. The Bobcats took a 35.3 percent (12-34) to 27.3 percent (3-11) edge from long range and an 89.5 percent (17-19) to 60.0 percent (6-10) cushion from the free-throw line. The Bobcats turned 16 Monmouth turnovers into a 17-6 edge in points off turnovers. Quinnipiac committed eight turnovers on the night.
The Hawks return to action next Friday, Feb. 14, when they travel to Iona. Opening tip of a men’s and women’s doubleheader is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.