- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 16 November 2016
- Written by MATT DELUCA | STAFF WRITER
The women’s basketball team defeated the Robert Morris Colonials 69-56 Sunday afternoon in Moon Township, PA during their first game of the season.
Senior guard Tyese Purvis led all players in scoring, finishing with 15 on the afternoon. Freshman guard Rosa Graham scored 14 points off of the bench in her collegiate debut, and senior guard Helena Kurt added 11 points and five assists in her first game since the 2014-15 season.
“We came out strong and worked hard on the defensive end,” Purvis said after the game. “We did what we had to do and stuck together.”
The score was close early on, as both teams jostled for the lead. Monmouth claimed their first lead of the game off of a Graham layup with 7:31 left in the opening quarter, with the score 8-7. The Hawks did not trail the rest of the way, as the blue and white scored eight points in 23 seconds to extend their lead to 20-9 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Monmouth defense held the Colonials to just seven points in the second quarter, as the Hawks went into halftime with a 34-23 lead. Through two quarters, the Hawks shot 36.9 percent from the field, and 35 percent from three-point range.
The Hawks continued their strong play into the second half, as they reached their largest lead of the game with 5:48 left in the third quarter, up by 19 points. Robert Morris was able to cut the Monmouth lead down to nine with one minute remaining in regulation, but that was as close as they would get. The Hawks converted four straight free throws, sealing their win and making the final score 69-56.
“We’re just really excited,” Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said, “I think we did a lot of really good things today, being able to come out here and beat a really talented Robert Morris team.”
For the game, the Hawks shot 37.3 percent from the field, and 42.9 percent from three-point range. Monmouth out-rebounded Robert Morris by nine, but had a minus-three assist-to-turnover ratio for the game. Monmouth also led for over 37 minutes in the game, as they trailed for two brief minutes early in the first quarter. The Hawks scored 14 points off of turnovers, including five fast break points. The Hawks received 30 points from their bench, as they outscored the Colonials’ bench by 11. As a team, the Hawks saw eleven different players receiving playing time, with ten of them registering in the scoring column.
The Hawks also saw six players who made their Monmouth debut, a group led by Graham, who scored 14 points off of the bench. She shot 42.8 percent from the field, 66.6 percent from three-point range, and a perfect percentage from the free-throw line, making all six of her attempts. The 14 points from Graham were the most from any Monmouth freshman in their debut since the 2004-05 season. The Hawks also saw a solid performance from freshman guard Alaina Jarnot, who tallied nine points, five assists and four rebounds in the game.
“I think our youngsters did what we knew they could do, and our upperclassmen led the way for us,” Palmateer said, “We’re excited about moving forward.”
The five Monmouth freshmen that debuted all played at least 14 minutes in the game, and all five played at one point within the opening five minutes of the season. All five were also able to score their first collegiate points of their young careers.
The victory was the first win in a season opener for the first time since the 2008-09 season for the Hawks, who defeated St Peter’s 59-47 in overtime.
“It’s really important to set the tone and get the first win,” Purvis said, “and we’re really excited to move on from this win and sustain the positive energy.”
The Hawks’ next game comes on Wednesday, Nov. 16 as they travel to Brooklyn Heights, NY, to face St Francis. Monmouth currently holds a 52-5 record in the all-time series versus the Terriers, including a 63-54 victory last season. Tip-off is scheduled for shortly after 7 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics