The Hawks fell to the Yale Bulldogs 64-55 in the season opener on Saturday, Nov. 9 at home. Senior forward Shira Shecht scored a career high 13 points while freshman guard Mia Hopkins dropped seven points to go along with nine rebounds in her first college game.
Within 16 minutes of the opening tip-off, the Hawks led the Bulldogs, 19-13. Yale then went on a run and scored five consecutive points bringing the game to a 19-19 tie. This back and forth pattern was reflected throughout the first half of play; MU would take a lead which Yale would then match, Yale would take a lead which MU would then match. With 20 seconds left in the first half, the score was tied at 29-29.
Shecht was able to break the tie as she landed a three point shot with three seconds left in the half. Heading into halftime, the Hawks led the Bulldogs, 32-29.
MU had their biggest lead of the game come during the second half when they lead the Bulldogs by 13. The lead was quickly cut by Yale as they came storming back and had four players who scored in double figures. Bulldog Hayden Latham led the charge with 14 points followed by 10 point performances by teammate Meredith Boardman, who was one board shy of a double-double. Yale’s Janna Graf and Katie Werner combined for 20 points and 12 rebounds. To further Yale’s comeback, the Bulldogs scored 12 points from beyond the arc in the second half.
Fuerhering Yale’s lead were the Hawks who turned the ball over 19 times in the loss, most of which came in the second half.
“We can’t afford making the little mistakes,” Hopkins said of the Hawks defeat. She is one of five freshmen who joined the team this season.
The first game jitter bug bit the team as they shot 35.5 percent from the field and were just 1-13 from three-point range. MU gave up 23 points off turnovers which helped Yale run away with the game. MU also struggled from the free-throw-line. The Hawks went 10-19, shooting 52.6 percent.
The women did have six blocks in the game, one from freshman forward Christina Mitchell who also had five points and was perfect from the foul line, two by Sara English, and three by senior guard/forward Chevannah Paalvast who also added five points and grabbed five boards.
“Once we come together we can show what we can do,” a hopeful Hopkins said.
With their youth, the team has promise. Being very young gives the women a chance to work together for many years and form a bond like no other team can. The Hawks have the weapons to make some noise.
MU returns to action Thursday, Nov. 14 when they take on the Wagner Seahawks in the Multipurpose Activity Center at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. Tipoff will be at 7 pm.
PHOTO COURTESY of Jim Reme