Highs and Lows for Women’s Basketball

The Monmouth University women’s basketball team saw a busy end to the fall semester that continued into the winter break. The Hawks brought home mixed results as they faced several non-conference opponents before beginning their first season of CAA play.

Monmouth saw consecutive losses against La Salle (7-4), Dartmouth (2-7), and Brigham Young University (5-8) to conclude their non-conference schedule, ending 5-6 against non-CAA opponents to begin the season.

The Hawks ended their three-game losing streak and secured their first CAA win in a home opener against Northeastern University (5-7, 0-1 CAA) on Friday, Dec. 30. Monmouth dominated the Huskies through the first two periods of play, leading 29-21 going into halftime. Northeastern bounced back and took the lead from the home team during the fourth quarter, ahead 44-41 with just over five minutes left in the game. The Hawks never stopped fighting, scoring the last seven points of the match including a notable triple from freshman Amiya Carroll to secure the 54-49 win. With this win, Monmouth improved to 2-0 in conference openers under head coach Ginny Boggess and improved to 4-1 at home for the season.

Monmouth added another win to their record after defeating the University of Delaware (8-5, 1-1 CAA) in a decisive 80-60 victory on Sunday, Jan. 1 to ring in the new year and continue their CAA success.

The Hawks’ CAA winning streak was brief, ending after a crushing loss to North Carolina A&T (9-5, 3-0 CAA) later that week on Friday, Jan. 6. The Hawks led 34-25 going into halftime after going on an 11-0 run to start the game and another 7-0 run toward the end of the second period, led by buckets from Lovin Marsicano, Bri Tinsley, and Jen Louro. The Aggies were quick to bounce back in the second half, shooting 54.5 percent from the field while holding Monmouth to 21.7 field goal percentage and forcing 11 turnovers from the Hawks. The visiting team went on a 20-4 run to conclude the game and secure the 68-52 win, completely rewriting the match that was originally dominated by Monmouth.

The Hawks wasted no time getting back to work, bouncing back with a 64-56 win over Elon University (4-11, 0-4 CAA) on Sunday, Jan. 8. Tinsley led Monmouth’s offensive effort with four rebounds, four assists, and a game-high 20 points. Marsicano added nine points and five rebounds of her own while teammate Ariana Vanderhoop contributed another nine points and two assists. Although it was a matchup full of back-and-forth battles, the Hawks ultimately prevailed 64-56.

Monmouth fell into another lull full of losses, dropping three consecutive games to Stony Brook University (10-6, 4-1 CAA), Towson University (9-7, 3-2 CAA), and the College of Charleston (8-8, 3-3 CAA).

However, the Hawks didn’t go down without a fight in any of the matchups despite the unfortunate final scores. Against Stony Brook, Kaci Donovan and Vanderhoop both recorded their fifth double-digit scoring games of the season while Tinsley had a career-high nine rebounds and a game-high four assists. Jen Louro put on a monumental performance against Towson, racking up a career-high 25 points for the Hawks. Vanderhoop recorded her second straight game in double figures and sixth on the season against Towson. She posted her second career double-double later that week against the College of Charleston, reaching double figures for the third straight game as she finished with 14 points and matched her career-high with 11 rebounds. Tinsley and Lucy Thomas both added 13 points for Monmouth, marking 11 double figure games for Tinsley this season and six for Thomas.

In their most recent matchup against the University of North Carolina Wilmington (4-14, 1-6 CAA), the Hawks (9-10, 4-4 CAA) finally came out on top 55-52. Led by Vanderhoop’s career-high 24 points, 17 of which were scored in the second half, Monmouth came back from a 26-23 deficit at the half to claim the much needed win.

The Hawks played a strong first period, leading UNCW 20-13 after an early 17-11 advantage thanks to buckets from Carroll and Jania Hall. Monmouth put up a far weaker performance in the second quarter, scoring a mere three points compared to the home team’s 13.

The third quarter saw a much more even matchup, although the Hawks still trailed UNCW 34-30 after putting up only seven points to their eight. The final 10 minutes were momentous for Monmouth, who opened on an 11-2 with eight of those points coming from Vanderhoop. In the lead 41-37, the Hawks pulled away even further after a Kranbuhl lay-up at 1:51 put Monmouth ahead 49-44.

UNCW didn’t go down without a fight, cutting their deficit to one point with a mere 47 seconds left in the game. Monmouth pulled away and secured the victory as the Hawks scored six of the game’s final 10 points, five coming from Vanderhoop alone.

With this win over UNCW, Monmouth broke a three game losing streak. In addition to the 24 points she put up to reestablish her career-high for the second time this season, Vanderhoop also contributed eight rebounds and two steals to lead the Hawks to a much needed win. She has now scored in double figures in four straight games and eight times throughout the season. Across the board, seven Hawks have put up 20-plus point performances for Monmouth this season.

Belle Kranbuhl added 10 points and six rebounds, scoring in double figures for the fourth time this season, while freshman Ella Farrelly came off the bench to grab seven rebounds and block two shots. Hall also made a team-high three assists in the contest.

“This was a huge road win! We battled through a lot of adversity and stayed connected to put ourselves in position for a strong finish. We had a lot of players step up today and I’m excited to seize the momentum and continue to grow in our confidence,” said Boggess on the team’s victory.
Up next, the Hawks are set to host Hampton University on Friday, Jan. 27.