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Sports

Women’s Basketball Reaches Quarterfinals in MAAC Tournament

WBB MAAC TournamentAfter an opening round victory over Manhattan, the women’s basketball team fell in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament to Rider, 67-51, Friday, Mar. 3 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

Freshman guard Rosa Graham led the Hawks with nine points, and freshman guard Alaina Jarnot added eight. No Hawk scored in double figures for the game.

“I just didn’t feel like we had our best game today,” Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “A lot of credit goes to Rider because they had a great defensive game plan.”

Rider jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes, and Monmouth responded with five straight points of their own to tie the game at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter. The teams traded baskets, as a three from senior guard Tyese Purvis gave Monmouth its first lead of the game at 8-7. The Broncs and Hawks traded baskets again throughout the remainder of the first quarter, as Rider held a 13-12 lead after ten minutes.

Rider started the second quarter strong, as they opened a 22-17 lead with 7:09 remaining in the first half. The Broncs then embarked on a 13-2 scoring run to blow the game open, as it was 35-22 with just over three minutes to go in the half. Monmouth was able to close the gap to eight, a small push that was capped off by a three-point shot from sophomore guard McKinzee Barker, which made the score 38-30 at half.

The Hawks continued to cut into the deficit in the second half, as two free throws from freshman forward Taylor Nason made it a six-point margin. Monmouth would not score for the remainder of the quarter, as Rider went on a 16-0 run over the final 7:36 of the quarter to make the score 54-32 after 30 minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Monmouth came as close as 16, but could not overcome the large deficit, falling 67-51 to their in-state rival.

For the game, the Hawks shot 33 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. Their bench outscored Rider’s 28-19, as Monmouth has seen strong bench production throughout the season. The Hawks turned the ball over 18 times in the game, leading to 21 Rider points off of those turnovers.

 

“It hurts to leave a tournament knowing you haven’t played your best,” Palmateer added. “We missed a lot of easy shots and free throws that came at key moments, which would’ve kept us in the game.”

Monmouth opened up their MAAC Tournament run with a 62-46 victory over the Manhattan Jaspers a day prior. In that game, Barker led the Hawks with 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Kayla Shaw scored 11, and Graham added 10 off of the bench.

Monmouth started the game on a 7-0 run, and led by five at the first media timeout, 12-7. Layups by Jarnot and Barker extended the Monmouth lead to nine with 47 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Jaspers opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game, but the Hawks responded.

A layup from freshman forward Alexa Middleton gave Monmouth a 20-19 lead that they would not relinquish. The Hawks expanded the game to 32-23 on a Graham layup, forcing Manhattan to burn a timeout. The Jaspers closed the quarter strong, with the score being 32-27 at halftime.

Monmouth came out of halftime red-hot, embarking on a 19-0 run to make the score 54-29 with 2:10 remaining in the third. Manhattan put together a few good possessions, but the Hawks came out of the quarter holding a 21-point lead. The Hawks, despite only scoring six points in the fourth quarter, held on for a 62-46 victory.

“They’re a very talented team,” Shaw said after the game, “so it definitely helped to be familiar with them. I thought my team did a really good job of defending them and taking away their strengths.”

The loss the following day to the two-seed Rider knocked the Hawks out of the 2017 MAAC Tournament. Monmouth finished the season with a record of 15-16, finishing seventh in the regular season conference standings. Monmouth returns ten players next season, most of which factored in to their rotation this season.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics

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