The Monmouth University women’s basketball team traveled down to Schar Center in North Carolina to take on Elon on Friday, Feb. 17 in what would be one of their lowest scoring affairs of the season thus far.
The Hawks found themselves in a shooting drought throughout this matchup, racking up a mere 48 points in their lowest game total since they put up 39 points in a tough loss to St. John’s on Nov. 7. In general, this CAA matchup was far from high-scoring as Elon and Monmouth combined for just 105 points in total.
Graduate forward Lucy Thomas and junior guard Kaci Donovan kicked things off for the Hawks, posting three combined early baskets to give the team a 6-4 lead. This meager lead would be the last for the Hawks in the matchup, spending the rest of the game playing catch-up with Elon.
Despite the efforts of Donovan, Thomas, and graduate guard Bri Tinsley, the Hawks’ ice-cold shooting ultimately doomed them to a stagnant comeback attempt. Monmouth was 3-23 from deep and were unable to convert more than five of their field goal attempts in any quarter of the game. Tinsley was the only Hawk to score in double figures, though she also attempted the most shots by a wide margin.
Head Coach Ginny Boggess gave credit where it was due after Elon dismantled the Hawks’ offensive game plan. “Credit Elon for making it really tough on us tonight, we just couldn’t get going offensively.
We have a quick turnaround and need to do a hard reset to get ready for a very good team on Sunday.”
That team would be North Carolina A&T, and despite a much-improved effort on Sunday, Feb. 19, the Hawks once again fell short after a dud fourth quarter.
The first quarter between the two CAA opponents was highly competitive, a mere point separating the teams at the conclusion of the period. The Hawks came back with a new life in the second quarter, opening it up with a 14-2 run to establish an 11-point lead early on. The Aggies played on, slowly chipping away at the lead before Donovan’s four-point play brought the Hawks’ lead back to nine.
Despite that, the two teams ultimately trotted into halftime tied at 35.
Going into the second half of the game, the Hawks had a strong start to the quarter with Tinsley and Donovan each making threes to restore Monmouth’s lead. And, like the second quarter, North Carolina began to clamp down, cutting the Hawk lead to two points heading into the final quarter. Monmouth maintained their lead for much of the fourth quarter, which saw much more defensive and conservative play from both teams. However, Monmouth only managed to put up six points, and despite leading with under two minutes remaining, failed to score any additional points to provide some cushion and ultimately lost to North Carolina on some clutch buckets from the Aggies’ Jazmin Harris.
Coach Boggess was happy with the improved performance from one game to the next, but acknowledged that a lack of focus and discipline cost her team in this one. She noted, “Multiple players stepped up today and keyed in on adjustments from Friday. I am very proud of our effort on the road against one of the top teams in the league. We’ve proven we can compete in this league. Now we have to focus in and have the discipline to finish these close ones.”
The back-to-back losses for the Hawks has seen them fall below .500 overall and in the CAA, with a 12-14 record in the former and 7-8 record in the latter.
The Hawks’ next chance to get it right will come in Hempstead, New York when they take on Hofstra on Sunday, Feb. 26.