Women’s Basketball Splits Weekend Games

The women’s basketball team split their weekend as they fell to the Iona Gaels Friday, Jan. 24, but came back to beat the Manhattan Jaspers on Sunday, Jan. 26.

On Friday night, senior center Sara English lead the way for MU by compiling her fourth career double-double. In the game she tallied a career-high 19 points and contributed 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Jenny Horvatinovic contributed a season-high 13 points while shooting 5-of-6 from the floor. Senior forward Chevannah Paalvast also scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

As for the Gaels, junior guard Damika Martinez scored a game high 28 points. She is the MAAC’s leading scorer averaging 24.2 points per game. Sophomore forward Joy Adams also added a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Early on in the game Iona jumped out to a 9-4 lead before English added a three-point play followed by a jumper to tie up the game. Then Martinez scored on consecutive three-pointers to increase the Gaels’ lead to 17-11.

The Hawks kept it to within five points until Iona scored the last 14 of 18 points in the half to increase their lead to 44-29.

The second half began much like the first one ended. Martinez knocked down a pair of threes to increase Iona’s lead by 21 points. However, MU trimmed the deficit to 13 points after English scored on a bucket in the post.

The Gaels increased their lead to as many as 24 points when freshman guard Christina Rubin hit a three-pointer with 9:22 remaining in the game. Less than a minute later, the Hawks were trailing 70-53. MU then gained some momentum and went on a 15-0 run, and scored 23 of the next 26 points in the game, to trail by only three points.

During the stretch, Horvatinovic scored nine points, while sophomore guards Jasmine Walker and Kasey Chambers added five points each. However the blue and white were unable to make enough shots at the end of the game as the Gaels finished them off at the free-throw line to beat the Hawks 86-77.

“We’re not that high-powered offensive team that we can afford to [go down by 24 points]. We got ourselves in a jam in the first half. We started in zone, knowing that we couldn’t really match up,” explained head coach Jenny Palmateer. “We knew offensively, our best shot was to go with two true posts. With that, it’s a match-up problem with their quickness and penetrators. In the first 10 minutes, they killed us. They drained three after three after three. So, then we go man, but can’t stop their penetration. So we just got into too big of a hole in the first half.”

For the game, Iona outshot MU 47.4 percent (27-57) to 44.4 percent (32-72) from the floor. With a 51.7 percent (15-29) to 18.2 percent (2-11) edge from long range. The Hawks shot 73.3 percent (11-15) at the free-throw line while Iona shot 65.4 percent (17-26).

The blue and white out rebounded the Gaels 41-35, while turning the ball over just 11 times to the Gaels’ 15. The Hawks also held an edge in points in the paint 40-14 and in second-chance points 17-4.

The women bounced back Sunday afternoon when they took down the Jaspers 75-70. English again led the Hawks with 19 points while shooting 8-12 from the field and added 14 rebounds. Paalvast chipped in with 16 of her own on 6-13 shooting and filled the stat sheet in other ways by adding seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Manhattan’s Monica Roeder was the highest scorer for the game as she put in 20 points. Allison Skrec added 14 points for the Jaspers while also dishing out 10 assists for a double-double on the game, and Ashely Stec chipped in with 10 points.

MU opened up the scoring when Paalvast hit a three just 20 seconds into the game. The Jaspers answered right back after a pair of Skrec free throws and Roeder gave them a 5-3 lead with 17:29 remaining in the first half. Neither team was able to take over as both battled back and forth with Manhattan holding a slim 16-15 lead halfway through the half.

After a short Jasper run gave them a nine point lead, the Hawks finished out the half on a 15-2 run behind the play of Paalvast and English. Paalvast hit another three with just 13 seconds left to give MU a 34-30 lead at the half.

As the second half got underway, the pattern of the game stayed the same with both teams unable to gain control. MU was finally able to seize some momentum when, at the 11:17 mark, Mia Hopkins’s three kick started an 11-0 run for the Hawks to give them a 55-43 lead with just over eight minutes left in the game. The Hawks maintained their lead for the rest of the game and, despite a last minute run from the Jaspers, held on to take the victory.

MU shot 52.5 percent for the game while they held the Jaspers to just 43.3 percent shooting on the day. The Hawks also dominated on the boards as they out rebounded Manhattan 44-27.

The Hawks next take the court Thursday, Jan. 30 when they travel to Jersey City to take on in-state rival St. Peters University. Tip-off is set for 7 pm.