Women’s Basketball Wins Four Straight

The women’s basketball team is riding a four-game winning streak as their record improved to 12-12, 9-4 in the Northeast Conference (NEC). They won both their games this weekend, and are currently third in the NEC with five games to play.

Playing in their annual Play 4Kay game on Saturday, February 16, they beat St. Francis Brooklyn 51-47 behind 14 points from Chevannah Paalvast. The Play 4Kay game is in honor of the late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow who lost her fight to breast cancer in 2009. The players have been raising money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the color pink was seen throughout the arena on Saturday.

“A game like today is really more about the survivors and the cause than anything else,” said Head Coach Jenny Palmateer who coached alongside Yow at N.C. State. “I think for us to be able to do our part, to help raise awareness and try to help raise some funds in the fight, we’re more than happy to do it.”

The game was back and forth throughout. St. Francis Brooklyn ended the first half on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 21 and started the sec­ond half on a 14-5 run to take a nine point lead. Palmateer took a timeout and the momentum immediately shifted in the Hawks’ favor.

“We talked a lot about getting over the hump,” Palmateer said. “They looked more tired than we did. We were able to limit our mistakes and wear them down.”

MU ended the game on a 25-12 run to steal the win. They had six steals in the game’s final 12 minutes, including three from Carly Thibault who had a career-high four steals for the game. The Hawks scored 21 points off St. Francis’ 18 turnovers.

Abigail Martin scored nine points and blocked four shots in the win. Thibault added eight points and five rebounds while Danica Dragicevic had five boards and a team-high three assists.

“I thought overall we had some people come in and do a phenom­enal job for us and give us the spark that we needed,” Palmateer said. “You’ve got to win some games like this, it’s not always going to feel re­ally good.”

They are now 51-5 all time against St. Francis.

On Monday, February 18, the Hawks took on Long Island Univer­sity Brooklyn (LIU) at the MAC and pulled out a gritty 69-60 win. Prior to the game Abigail Martin was hon­ored for becoming the 16th player in MU history to score 1,000 points. This occurred in the February 4 game against Central Connecticut State.

Womack led all scorers with 24 points on 11-18 from the field. She scored 15 in the first half. Her mid-range jumper was dropping from the opening tip and she didn’t miss a shot from inside the three-point line in the entire first half.

“I’m just doing whatever my team needs me to do,” Womack said. “To­night it was scoring.”

Thibault added 17 points of her own, connecting on three shots from beyond the arc and converting all six of her free throws. Martin and Gab­by Singer had six rebounds apiece and Singer led the team with three steals. As a team, they shot 45.6 per­cent from the floor and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc.

MU was outsized on the post, sur­rendering 32 points in the paint, but they were able to force 22 turnovers that led to 26 points. That, coupled with the fact they were 12-15 from the foul line enabled them to come out with the win.

“This one’s big for us,” said Pal­mateer. “We knew it would be a bat­tle of wills. To make up for the prob­lem we were having on the inside, we did a great job stepping up on the perimeter, really applying some heat and forcing those turnovers.”

The Hawks play a make-up game on Wednesday, February 20 at Quinnipiac. Quinnipiac is first in the NEC and hasn’t lost in conference play yet, but MU is hoping to keep their streak going.

“We’re going to give them a run for their money,” Womack said. “We’ve been looking forward to it since it was scheduled, so we’re ready to go. No doubt about that.”

They’ll travel to Pennsylvania next weekend to take on St. Francis of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Febru­ary 23 and Robert Morris on Mon­day, February 25.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography