W Basketball Sarah Olsen

Women’s Basketball Fights Back to Beat Canisius, 79-75

The women’s basketball team beat the Canisius Golden Griffins 79-75 Sunday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center, recording their first win of the season after trailing at halftime.

Senior guards Sarah Olson and JamiyahBethune led the way for the Hawks, with Olson scoring 24 points and Bethune recording her first double-double in her career at MU with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

“It’s just another day,” Bethune said of her performance. “I’m happy I got the double-double, but that means that I need to work harder, set the standard for myself and be consistent.”

For the Griffins, senior forward Crysta Porter had 24 points with nine rebounds and freshman guard Maria Welch dominated from behind the arch, hitting all six of her field goals from 3-point range—ending the game with 20 points and seven rebounds.

With the win, MU is now 8-15 (6-8 MAAC), while Canisius falls to 9-14 (4-10 MAAC).

“We have to be more aware of her on the court,” Bethune said about Welch. “We lost her a lot during the game and she made us pay for it. Next game we’re going to lock in on her more.”

In the first quarter, MU got off to a fast start with a 7-0 run which included a deep three-pointer by Olson, forcing Canisius to take an early timeout. The Hawks used an effective full court press defense and forced eight total turnovers in the first.

In the second quarter, the Hawks relaxed their defensive pressure, allowing Porter to score 11 points while the Hawks turned the ball over five times.At the Half, Monmouth was trailing Canisius 45-40.

However, in the second half, it was defensethat took over the game.

“Everyone really came together on defense,” Bethune said. “We got in the huddle and we said what we had to do. Everybody had each other’s backs and defense was huge for us.”

Both teams had trouble going on runs in the second half, which caused MU and Canisius to go back-and-forth with the lead. Bethune led the Hawks in the third quarter with six points while Welch and Porter both had six points each for the Griffins. MU freshman guardMcKinzee Barker ended the third with retrieving her own shot’s rebound and hitting a layup as time expired—sparking the momentum change back the Hawks’ way.

In the fourth quarter Olson took over, showing that she wanted the win. She had nine points in the quarter including two late free-throws which gave MU a three-point lead.

“This is more like the Sarah that we saw against Manhattan, so I think it’s pretty obvious she really likes to play at home,” head coach Jenny Palmateer said about Olson’s strong performance, after scoring only two points in their previous game against Iona. “She has a short memory and I love that about her. And that’s the experience of a senior. She learns from the games in the past, whether they’re good or bad, and just finds a way and I think you can never count seniors out during this time of year.”

After a three-pointer byCanisius at the 5:10 mark, MU held the Golden Griffins from making a single field goal for the rest of the game, proving to be the difference maker in the inter-conference match. Trailing by two points late in the game, junior guard Tyrese Purvis secured the comeback for MU by hitting a three-pointer with 46.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

“We knew Canisius wouldbe a tough match for us, they shoot the ball so well,” Palmateer said. “They’ve been in so many games. They lost a lot of tough ones, a couple in overtime. I feel very fortunate and very happy that our team was able to execute down the stretch to pull this one out.”

Looking forward, theHawks will begin a four game road stretch, which includes only one team over .500 (Fairfield).

“I think it’s a huge [win] for us,” Palmateer said. “We have big week and a half coming up, going head-to-head with a lot of teams were battling for position with.”

The Hawks return to action Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. against Manhattan at Draddy Gym. MU will be playing for the season sweep against the Jaspers.

COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics