Women’s Basketball Loses Sixth Straight

The women’s basketball team lost to rival Rider on Feb. 19 and Niagra on Feb. 22. With the losses, the blue and white fall to 6-23 (5-13 MAAC). The Hawks currently stand at ninth in the division.

Although MU lost against Rider, the game featured a stand out performance. Sophomore guard Jasmine Walker led the way for MU as she tallied a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds in her second career double-double. Walker was deadly from the floor as she converted 6-of-11, and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Her other double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) also came against Rider on Jan. 5.

Junior forward Sara English added 10 points and six rebounds, while senior forward Chevannah Paalvast contributed nine points, five rebounds, and three steals. Freshman Jenny Horvatinovic and sophomore Danica Dragicevic both added six points apiece, and freshman guard Helena Kurt tallied five points and a career-high five assists.

As for the Broncs, MyNeshia McKenzie had a game-high 23 points and 15 rebounds, while Mikal Johnson added 13 points and four assists. Kornelija Valiuskyte added nine points and five assists, and Manon Pellet had eight points and four assists.

Rider began the game on a 10-3 run with four different players burying field goals. However, the Hawks scored eight of the next 10 to close the gap. Horvatinovic started the run with a three-pointer, followed by a lay-up from Walker.

The Broncs rallied back ahead by five points on two separate occasions, as the blue and white scored five-straight points on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Kasey Chambers, and a lay-in by Paalvast to give MU their first lead of the game 24-23 with 7:45 left in the first quarter.

The game was back and forth at the end of the first half until Rider scored five-straight points to go into halftime with a 36-32 lead.

The Hawks scored the first points of the second half with a layup by Kurt with 18:55 remaining in the game. Then, the Broncs converted six straight points from the free-throw line to increase their lead 42-36.

The blue and white trailed by five before Rider went on a 7-0 run to take a 54-42 lead with 10:32 left to play.

With just 6:18 left, the Broncs lead raised to a game-high 65-51, but MU responded with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to seven.

English hit two free-throws to decrease the deficit to 69-64 with just 1:22 remaining in the game. Rider iced the game by scoring the final five points to win, 74-64.

Rider outshot the Hawks, 44.6 percent (25-56) to 38.5 percent (20-52), including a 60.0 percent (9-15) to 40.0 percent (4-10) edge from beyond the arc. MU took a 74.1 percent (20-27) to 71.4 percent (15-21) cushion from the free-throw line and the Broncs edged the blue and white, 37-36, on the glass.

“I’m really happy for Jas Walker. She was able to have her career high in rebounds and points today,” said Jenny Palmateer, MU’s head coach. “But really the biggest thing to me was that she played with such confidence. That was the first time probably since she’s been here that she actually has felt that. She became our go-to person down the stretch. I was really glad that she got to experience that because I feel like she’s going to be able to be that person for us, hopefully a lot, in the future.”

On Saturday, the team hosted Niagara’s Purple Eagles in a broadcasted ESPN3 game .

For the night, Horvatinovic reigned as MU’s top scorer with eight points and a season-high 10 rebounds. Paalvast, English, and Walker contributed nine points each. English grabbed six rebounds, while Walker added five boards. Chambers had a game-high five assists.

As for Niagara, Victoria Rampado and Meghan McGuinness had 20 points apiece. Rampado also grabbed nine rebounds. Taylor McKay added 13 points and five assists, while Chanel Johnson had 12 points

English scored the opening basket of the game, but, Niagara went on a 10-0 run. After that, MU slowly decreased the deficit to 14-11. With halftime approaching, the Hawks cut the lead to seven when Champers hit a jumper with a little over a minute left to cut the deficit to 35-28.

English converted on two free throws to start the half and bring the blue and white to within five. However, MU would get no closer as the Purple Eagles pulled away by scoring the next 14 of 18 points.

With 12:35 left to play, the Hawks were down 49-42 but Niagara continued to add to their lead. The final score read 85-57 in Niagara’s favor.

For the game, Niagara outshot the Hawks, 43.8 percent (28-64) to 36.5 percent (23-63) from the floor, 50.0 percent (9-18) to 33.3 percent (5-15) from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent (20-24) to 54.5 percent (6-11) from the free-throw line. The Hawks edged Niagara, 41-40, on rebounds, but turned the ball over 20 times to the Purple Eagles’ 10.

“I thought we got off to a pretty slow start offensively today,” Palmateer said. “Unfortunately, I think it affected everything for us. We were able to hang a little bit. Considering how we were playing in the first half, I wasn’t totally displeased with where we were to start the second half. I thought we were still in a pretty good position to play well and win the game. We faced a little bit of adversity early in the second half and I think it just got the best of us.”

The Hawks return to MAAC action on Friday when they travel to take on Marist. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 pm.