WBB 02.12.20

Women’s Basketball Breaks Losing Streak

Women’s basketball split at home this past week with a 45-52 loss to Quinnipiac Thursday morning and a 59-57 victory over Saint Peter’s Saturday afternoon.

With over 2,500 fans in attendance, mostly made up of local elementary and middle school students because of Monmouth University’s annual “Kids Day”, the Hawks’ struggled to get a win over the Bobcats in Thursday’s contest.

Quinnipiac started strong with an 8-0 lead over Monmouth, making their first four shots. To end the first quarter, they went on a 6-0 run and forced 11 Monmouth turnovers as they went into the second quarter with a 14-4 lead.

With a layup from senior forward Alexa Middleton and two successful free throws from sophomore forward Lucy Thomas, the Hawks’ cut the deficit to ten in the second half. Quinnipiac answered quickly, scoring twice in the last minute of the quarter and took a 31-17 lead going into halftime.

Monmouth came out into the third quarter focused, scoring the first five points and outscoring the Bobcats 14-10 for the quarter. This run cut the deficit to ten going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Hawks trailed by as little as seven points and refused to allow a Quinnipiac point for the first 5:00. Thomas had a successful three-pointer with 3:42 remaining, which cut Quinnipiac’s lead to 43-37.

With 37 seconds remaining in the matchup, a Middleton layup made it a six-point game. Quinnipiac held on in the final seconds and were able to get the win.

Following Thursday’s game, Middleton moved to second all-time in career rebounds with 818. In 12 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) games, she is averaging 11.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Thomas scored in double digits for the sixth time in seven games. She is averaging 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

“It was good to see us battle back after a terrible start, turning it over on our first four possessions and going down eight,” said Head Coach Jody Craig. “We ultimately won the game from there, but obviously have a lot to work on. In particular, we got outhustled on the boards and made some crucial mistakes down the stretch in our offensive decisions. It’s frustrating to keep losing the same way.”

Following Thursday’s loss, the Hawks went on to host Saint Peter’s Saturday night.

Halfway through the first quarter, Monmouth led 10-4, but Saint Peter’s quickly took over with a three-pointer and a four-point play. By the end of the first, the Peacock’s led slightly 15-14.

Monmouth took a four-point lead in the second, but going into halftime, Saint Peter’s led 27-26.

Middleton secured a three-point play to close the third quarter, putting Monmouth ahead 43-42 going into the fourth.

Monmouth went on a 6-0 run in the fourth, but Saint Peter’s tied the game with 1:23 left on the clock. Senior guard Sierra Green made a layup with 1:09 remaining, but Saint Peter’s did the same tying the game again.

Thomas made two free throws, one with 28 and one with 12 seconds left to put Monmouth ahead 59-57 and to secure the win.

“Right now, our highest shooting percentage is in the paint, so we have to play the odds and take advantage of matchups,” said Craig. “We calmed down, took better care of the ball, and were poised down the stretch. I would’ve liked to see us make some more free throws to make it easier on ourselves, but outside of that it was a good finish. Defense is something we really focus on, and I was proud that we came through late in a couple situations. We need to continue to rely on that.”

Monmouth improved to 6-16 (3-10 MAAC) as the Hawks will face Iona on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7:00 p.m.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell