W Basketball 12.05.18

Women’s Basketball Wins Third-Straight Game

Behind a career-high 25 points from junior guard Sierra Green, Women’s Basketball won their third-straight game on Sunday afternoon, defeating George Washington 55-51 in Washington D.C.

Junior guard Emani Clough contributed a season-high 19 points and six rebounds as the only other player in double-figures for the Hawks. Junior forward Alexa Middleton scored seven points and corralled four rebounds, while senior center Erica Balman grabbed eight boards. Monmouth had only five players register points in the contest.

“I felt this was our best performance of the year so far,” said Head Coach Jody Craig. “We came in with an aggressive mindset hoping that we could create some turnovers and limit their three-point looks. I thought our defense on their top three scorers was outstanding, holding them to just 25 points combined. We also had composure down the stretch, with Sierra [Green] and Emani [Clough] making key plays.”

Monmouth took a quick 3-0 lead on a Clough three, but allowed six-straight points to the Colonials. At the first quarter media timeout, the Hawks reclaimed the lead on five-straight points from Clough, 8-6. Monmouth ended the first quarter on a 14-6 scoring run after being down 6-2. Clough finished with 11 points in the first ten minutes.

George Washington opened the second quarter on a 10-0 scoring run, jumping out to a five-point lead, 22-17. The Hawks brought the deficit within one with 4:44 remaining in the half on two-consecutive steals and layups. Monmouth continued their push back, taking a 30-27 lead into the half.

After 20 minutes of play, Clough led all scorers with 13 points, and was the only player in double-figures on either side. At the half, Monmouth dominated fast break points, outscoring George Washington 11-0 on the break.

The Colonials opened the second half with a three-point shot to tie the game at 30, but Green scored five-straight points to give Monmouth a five-point advantage, 35-30. The teams continued to trade runs, as George Washington rattled off eight-straight to take a 38-35 lead with 3:01 remaining in the third, forcing a Monmouth timeout. The Hawks were able to take a 42-40 lead into the fourth after a buzzer-beating layup from Green off of a steal from junior guard Rosa Graham.

Green continued to shine offensively in the final quarter, scoring ten points as Monmouth outscored George Washington 15-9 in the final ten minutes.

For the game, Monmouth shot 34 percent from the field (21-61) and 28.6 percent from three (8-28). The Hawks made five of their eight free throw attempts, including four in the final minute to seal the victory. Monmouth had 17 fast break points, while also outscoring George Washington 24-16 in the paint. The Hawks had 13 turnovers in the game. George Washington shot 31 percent from the field, while being held to just 20 percent from three. They made half of their free throws, hitting seven of 14.

Clough and Green combined for 44 of the 55 points the Hawks had on the afternoon, which is 80 percent of their offensive production. Green reached double-figures in scoring for the sixth-straight game. She was also the first Hawk during the 2018-2019 season to reach 20 points.

Balman tied a career-high in blocks with four. She now has 17 on the season, which leads all players in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

The win was the third-straight for Monmouth, who elevated their record to 3-4 on the season after starting 0-4. They won their second road game of the season, which surpassed last season’s number. It is also the first time the program has won three-consecutive games since Feb. 24-March 2 in the 2016-2017 season.

Monmouth will finish their three-game road swing on Saturday when they travel to face Lafayette. Tip-off from Easton, PA is slated for 2:00 p.m., with the game being broadcasted on WMCX 88.9 FM radio.

PHOTO TAKEN by Ali Nugent