Women’s Basketball Finish Season, 7-24

The women’s basketball team split their weekend as they fell to the Marist Red Foxes by the final score of 83-52 on Friday, Feb 28 and defeated the Siena Saints in their final home game of the season on Sunday, March 2. The Hawks regular season record is now solidified at 7-24 (6-14 MAAC).

The loss against the Red Foxes secured the Hawks’ ninth seed position in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships while the win decreed Marist as the number two seed in the tournament.

Senior forward Chevannah Paalvast made the biggest impact against the Red Foxes as she scored a team-high 14 points on Friday night. She also finished with eight rebounds, and four assists. Freshman forward Christina Mitchell tallied a season-high eight points and four assists.

Freshman guard Helena Kurt added nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown while freshman forward Jenny Horvatinovic contributed with five points and eight rebounds.

The Red Foxes saw all five of their starters finish in double-digits. Emma O’Connor’s led the way with 16 points while Sydney Coffey had 14 points, and Leanne Ockenden scored 13 points. Casey Dulin had 10 points and a game-high seven assists, whereas Madeline Blais finished with 10 points.

The first 10 minutes of play saw a constant back-and-forth competition until the Red Foxes went on a 10-0 run and eventually led by as many as 24 points. They went into the half leading 52-28.

The second half saw more of the same, as the closest the Hawks would trail was by 21 points with the score reading 62-41 and less than 12 minutes left to play. However, Marist would push the lead back up to as many as 33 points and win the game by the score of 83-52.

“In the first half, we got down really quick. They were unbelievable shooting the ball today, especially in the first half, and we just could never recover from that. I think O’Connor was unbelievable and we had no answer for her in the first half. It just got us in way too big of a hole to recover,” said head coach Jenny Palmateer.

For the game, Marist outshot the Hawks, 47.5 percent (28-59) to 37.5 percent (21-56) from the floor, 50.0 percent (12-24) to 33.3 percent (4-12) from three-point range and 83.3 percent (15-18) to 54.5 percent (6-11) from the free-throw line. The Red Foxes also took a 36-34 edge on rebounds.

The Hawks concluded their regular season on Sunday when they won over Siena. The win was the women’s first since Thursday, Jan 30 when they defeated Saint Peter’s, 52-41. Before the game began, the Hawks honored their two departing seniors: New Zealand native Paalvast and forward Shira Shecht from Israel.

MU played in a back-and-forth style during the first seven minutes of the game, but the women were able to pull ahead, 11-10, with 13:21 left in the first half. The Hawks continued to overpower Siena and by halftime, they were up 41-32.

The blue and white dominated the second half as their smallest advantage was a ten point margin. The final score showed a 80-57 win in MU’s favor.

The Hawks were just above 53 percent on two point shots while the Saints total just above 31 percent in two pointers. The Hawks also beat their competitors in three pointers as they sank 50 percent while Siena had nearly 32 percent.

The game saw a season-high 53.4 percent (31-58) from the floor for the Hawks and a 15 point season high from freshman guard Mia Hopkins. Kurt also had an impressive feat as she began the second half with four three-pointers earning 12 points within the first three minutes. Paalvast added 15 points for the Hawks, freshman center Sophie Beaudry contributed 10 points, and junior forward Sara English chipped in for eight points.

This was the Hawks second win over the Saints this season.

MU will begin their championship chase on Thursday, March 6 at 9:20 am at the MassMutal Center in Springfield, MA. They will face off against the number eight seed Niagra University Purple Eagles (10-19, 8-12 MAAC).