- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 25 January 2017
- Written by MATT DELUCA | STAFF WRITER
In front of a crowd of over 2,900, the women’s basketball team defeated Quinnipiac 61-58 Thursday afternoon at the OceanFirst Bank Center.
The Hawks received key points late, as freshman guard Rosa Graham hit six consecutive free throws in the final 1:15 of the game.
“I just knew that’s what my team needed me for as their point guard, because I’m who they go after at the end,” Graham said after the game. “We know Quinnipiac is a top team in the conference so it gives us more confidence heading into the tournament.”
Freshman guard Kayla Shaw led all scorers with 20 points, making four out of eight 3-point attempts. Graham finished with eight points and five rebounds, and freshman guard Alaina Jarnot finished with seven points.
The teams were tied at 17 after the first quarter, but Quinnipiac used a 7-0 run towards the end of the second quarter to take a 35-28 lead into halftime. The Hawks outscored the Bobcats 33-23 in the final 20 minutes, including a five-point margin in both the third and fourth quarters.
Monmouth took its first lead since the second quarter with a free throw from freshman forward Alexa Middleton, who made the score 49-48 with 8:54 remaining. Quinnipiac responded with a three-point shot, and Monmouth came back with a layup from senior guard Helena Kurt to give the Hawks a 53-51 lead with 6:13 remaining.
The Hawks received the six points from Graham in the final 1:15, and came away with two big defensive stops late to seal the huge conference victory.
“She’s great from the foul line,” Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “I’d put her there ten out of ten times. I have all the confidence in the world in her.”
The victory was the fourth in conference play for the Hawks, who earned their ninth overall victory on the season. The victory also handed Quinnipiac its first loss in conference play, as they entered the game 8-0 in the MAAC.
“I’m so excited for these guys, I can’t even catch my breath,” Palmateer said. “Quinnipiac is one of the toughest teams in the conference for a lot of reasons. I was just so proud of our girls that we were able to match that and execute down the stretch and pull this one out.”
For the game, Monmouth held Quinnipiac to 25.3 percent shooting from the floor, and 27.3 percent from three. The Hawks were outrebounded by the Bobcats 58-46, the most given up by the Hawks all season. The final attendance of 2,983 was the largest of the season for the Monmouth women’s team.
The Hawks then traveled to New Rochelle, NY Sunday afternoon, as they fell 60-54 to Iona at the Hynes Center. The Hawks trailed by only one point with 1:36 remaining in the game, but they were unable to score again, as Iona hit five free throws to seal their victory.
Monmouth led for a majority of the first quarter, but trailed for the remaining portion of the game. The Hawks had a chance to tie the game at 56 with 28 seconds remaining, but a layup from Quintana rolled around the rim and the rebound was grabbed by Iona.
“We started out a little flat today and didn’t come out with our A-game, so we were battling back for the entire first half,” Palmateer said after the game, “We had better energy in the third quarter, but just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The loss dropped the Hawks’ record to 9-9 on the season, and 4-5 in conference play. Monmouth will look to bounce back Thursday night, as they travel to face Fairfield University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm, and the game can be found on WMCX 88.9 FM.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics