The same night that Monmouth Women’s Basketball hung their 2023 CAA Championship banner, efforts from the Hawks led Monmouth to their first win at home against St. John’s.
Just a few days prior, Women’s Basketball opened their season at Rutgers on Nov. 6 and fell short by just five points, 51-56, but looked ahead to their first game of the season on their home court.
In the Saturday Nov. 11 matchup against St. John’s, both teams defended their side of the quart while putting up shots for a back-and-forth battle.
Monmouth took an 8-3 lead just shy of seven minutes into the first quarter, but St. John’s took control back by scoring nine of the next 11 points. This claimed their lead 12-10. St. John’s went on to tally the final seven points and a 21-16 advantage going into the second quarter.
St. John’s held their own in the second quarter, holding on to their advantage as their lead ranged between six and 13 points over the course of ten minutes.
St. John’s continued their lead after halftime and scored five of the first seven points, as they took their largest lead of the game (14).
Monmouth started to pick up more momentum as senior Taisha Exanor and senior Kaci Donovan had three apiece to close the 14-point lead to eight. Both teams continued to score, and while Monmouth cut St. John’s lead to eight several times, the third quarter still ended in the hands of The Red Storm, 60-50.
The fourth quarter saw a quick five points from St. John’s, but Monmouth refused to let St. John’s get away with the win. In the final 7:26 of the game, Exanor, a transfer student from the University of Pittsburgh, showed out on both sides of the court, with 10 points during a 17-1 run by the Hawks. Senior Belle Kranbuhl and Exanor held down the fort for Monmouth’s defense with a combined eight blocks, while offensive senior Jaye Haynes with 15 points, Donovan with 14, and senior Ariana Vanderhoop with 11, all contributed to Monmouth’s 74-69 win.
Monmouth finished the game shooting 50% from the field and 61.5% in just the fourth quarter, while St. John’s shot 43.8% from the field and only 26.7% in the fourth quarter.
This was an important game for Monmouth as it was Monmouth’s first win over the Red Storm in seven tries. Last year’s matchup resulted in a St John’s 39-point victory. Friday’s game was the first time the Hawks have beaten a Big East opponent since the 2011-12 season. According to the Monmouth Athletics Website, Head Coach Ginny Boggess said, “I was extremely proud of our grit down the stretch tonight. We executed defensively at a very high level in the fourth quarter. We finally started finding our rhythm on offense a little and moved the ball well in the second half. I hope to build on that moving forward. This was a great team win in front of an electric crowd.”
Overall an amazing night for the Hawks, as they are now 1-1 and prepare to host Sacred Heart today, Wednesday, Nov. 15.