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Women’s Basketball Falls to Saint John’s, 78-39

Monmouth University Women’s Basketball (0-1) dropped their season opener on Monday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena to St. John’s University (1-0), 78-39.

Juniors Kaci Donovan, Belle Kranbuhl, and Ariana Vanderhoop started alongside graduate students Bri Tinsley and Lovin Marsicano for the Hawks as they played a high-major opponent in their opener for the second consecutive season. Last year, Monmouth faced off against Syracuse in their first game of the 2021 season.

The Hawks struggled to get their feet beneath them in the opening 10 minutes, quickly falling behind 19-2 in the first quarter on the back of three three-pointers from St. John’s. Belle Kranbuhl scored the Hawks’ only basket of the first quarter, getting to the rim and finishing off a slick post move. The second quarter was marginally better as they scored 11 points but still allowed 20, taking a 39-13 deficit into halftime.

Donovan paced the Hawks in points and rebounds, with 11 and six respectively. Donovan was the only Monmouth player to reach double digit points in the game, and her six boards matches her career best. Freshmen Anaya Coleman, Amiya Carroll, and Ella Farrelly each scored their first points as Hawks in the loss.

Monmouth battled in the second half, trading baskets with the Red Storm. The third quarter was the closest between the two sides in the game, with the Hawks putting up 11 points for the second consecutive quarter whilst the Red Storm notched 16 of their own.

Tinsley made back-to-back baskets early in the fourth quarter, including her first three as a Hawk, but St. John’s early lead was ultimately too much to surmount for the young Hawks team. Monmouth posted 15 points in the fourth quarter, their highest of the game. Still, the Hawks were overpowered by the home team, who managed to score 23 points of their own, their highest of the game as well.

The Hawks were outshot 52 percent to 28 percent. They also saw more turnovers, giving up 14 to Saint John’s 10. Although Donovan put up a strong performance for Monmouth in the rebound category, the Red Storm earned 40 to Monmouth’s 31 to help lead the home team to a decisive victory.

After the loss, second-year Head Coach Ginny Boggess reflected positively on her team’s improvements through the four quarters, saying, “St. John’s is a very experienced, very talented team. This was a good test for us to see where we need to improve. We adjusted and responded well in the second half and I’m very excited for it to come together for a full 40 minutes.” Monmouth improved mightily under Boggess in her first season, and will look to get back to their winning ways on Thursday, Nov. 10 when New Jersey City University travels to OceanFirst Bank Center for a 7 p.m. tilt.