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Women’s Basketball Brushes Off Close Losses to Defeat NJIT

Monmouth University’s women’s basketball team (2-2) traveled to Loyola University (2-2) on Wednesday, Nov. 16 where they had a close battle in the Reintz Arena, ultimately coming up short 61-59 due to a fourth quarter rally that allowed the Greyhounds to take the win.

The Hawks started off with a 8-0 lead early on and rose to a 19-8 advantage after one period of play. The Hawks maintained their momentum as Lucy Thomas came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points, paired with six rebounds, while Anaya Coleman helped the team with 13 points, five assists, and four rebounds. The Hawks were able to hold onto their 7 point lead in the second quarter as Monmouth took 33-26 at the half, but the teams battled back and forth throughout the third. A jumper by Belle Kranbuhl in the final minute put Monmouth back on top with 43-40. Despite the aggressiveness, Loyola managed to outscore the Hawks 21-16 in the fourth for the battle-back victory.

The Hawks (3-2) then traveled to the United States Naval Academy (0-5) on Tuesday, Nov. 22 where they used a 21-1 run during the first quarter to snatch an early advantage which they held onto for a 76-56 win in the Alumni Hall.

Kaci Donovan had an impressive performance with 17 points and six rebounds for MU. Kranbuhl continued to contribute as she added a season-high 10 points and three blocks, including the 100th of her career, while Bri Tinsley applied 14 points and eight assists.

Donovan stayed ready in the second half as she scored 13 of her team-high 17 points after the break and helped Monmouth score 21 points in both the third and fourth periods to secure the win for the Hawks.

On Friday, Nov. 25, the Hawks (3-3) hit the road for a post-Thanksgiving battle where they faced a close loss at the hands of Brown University (4-2), 70-69.

Donovan again paced the Hawks, this time with a career-high 22 points. She also managed to get five rebounds for the Hawks while Kranbuhl had nine points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Ariana Vanderhoop chipped in eight points and five assists.

Brown quickly knocked down five three-pointers during the first 10 minutes of the game and took an early 21-15 lead in the contest. The two sides went back-and-forth in the second quarter, but the Bears never relinquished as they scored the final six points of the stanza, taking a 40-32 lead at the break. MU briefly saw a 51-50 lead thanks to Jania Hall’s jumper with 1:14 to go, but Brown managed to get one more bucket, stealing back the lead with 10 minutes to play.

The Hawks and Bears found themselves in a constant battle during the fourth quarter as neither team was able to grasp the lead of more than two points over the next several minutes. Brown led 69-67 as MU brought the ball up the court with just 33 seconds left on the clock. After a Kranbuhl putback, a foul by the Hawks sent Brown to the line with eight tenths of a second to go. When Monmouth’s last shot fell short, the Bears emerged victorious.

The team brought it back to their home court at the OceanFirst Bank Center as they recovered from a 13-point third quarter deficit to force overtime on the clock and defeated NJIT by a 70-62 score on Sunday, Nov. 27.

Vanderhoop’s career-high 17 points paced the team, while Kranbuhl’s double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds helped immensely. Tinsley was the third Hawk in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
Straggling behind by three in the first period, NJIT used a 10-2 run to their advantage to take a 16-11 lead with 2:36 remaining in the period. The Highlanders eventually took a 21-13 lead after 10 minutes of action. Baskets by Vanderhoop and Kranbuhl to start the second stanza pulled the Hawks to a close 21-17 deficit. The two sides traded baskets before a layup from Lilly Anderson with 47 seconds left sent NJIT into the half with a 30-24 lead.

NJIT scored the first seven points of the third quarter with a lead, 37-24. A Vanderhoop triple at 3:15 cut the NJIT advantage to six, 42-36. The Highlanders pushed the lead back to eight before the Hawks closed out the third quarter on a 5-0 run, highlighted by a big three-pointer from Amiya Carroll.

A three-pointer from Lovin Marsicano at the start of the fourth tied the game at 49-49. Vanderhoop gave the Hawks a 55-53 lead with a jumper but NJIT responded quickly with their own jumper, sending the game to overtime.

During overtime, Vanderhoop helped the Hawks with a triple at 3:14. A Tinsley triple with 47 seconds left increased their lead to 64-59, giving them the 70-62 win.

Monmouth will keep the ball rolling on Thursday, Dec. 1 when they welcome St. Francis Brooklyn to the OceanFirst Bank Center at 7 p.m.