Women’s Basketball Falls Twice in Buffalo Trip

W Basketball 2.21.18Following a two-straight victories at home, the Monmouth women’s basketball team lost twice on their Buffalo, NY trip over the weekend.

Friday night the Hawks fell 62-50 to Canisius at the Koessler Athletic Center. No Hawk reached double figures in the contest, as sophomore forwards Adriana Zelaya and Alexa Middleton leading the way with seven points each. Middleton also had seven rebounds in the game.

The Golden Griffs started the game hot, shooting seven-of-nine in the opening quarter to jump out to an 18-13 lead after ten minutes. A jumper from sophomore guard Kayla Shaw brought the game to within four with 5:54 remaining in the second quarter, but Canisius outscored Monmouth by five to end the half. The Hawks trailed 31-22 at the break.

Canisius opened the third quarter on a 9-0 scoring run to balloon their lead to 18. They were able to maintain their lead, as the score after 30 minutes was 51-36. The Hawks were able to cut the Golden Griffs’ lead down to 11 on a 4-0 run, but they could not mount the full comeback, falling by 12 points.

“While we are not happy with the result of today’s game, I do want to acknowledge the effort we gave late,” Head Coach Jody Craig said. “That’s the spark and hunger we need all 13 players to play with. We need to set the tone like that from the start to win on the road.”

For the game, the Hawks shot 36 percent from the field and just 13 percent from three. They outrebounded Canisius 36-31. With a three-point shot in the game, Shaw moved into sole possession for sixth all-time in Monmouth program history with 144 made three-point shots in her career.

Monmouth looked to rebound on Sunday afternoon, but came up short again, falling to the Niagara Purple Eagles 68-65 at the ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center. Middleton led the team in scoring with 22 points, while also grabbing nine rebounds. Senior guard Dana Carbone scored 11 points on four-of-six shooting, and senior guard Rhaiah Spooner-Knight had ten.

The Hawks got off to a great start, as they led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, as Middleton scored five points and grabbed five rebounds, while Shaw hit two three-point shots. After ten minutes, Monmouth led 20-11. The Purple Eagles outscored the Hawks by four in the second quarter, but Monmouth went into half up 32-27.

Niagara came out of the half hot, taking a one-point lead midway through the third quarter. Middleton converted on an and-one play to later tie the game at 45, but the Purple Eagles went on a 6-0 scoring run to take a 51-45 lead, forcing a Monmouth timeout. The Hawks were able to bring it back to one possession, as the score was 52-49 after 30 minutes. Monmouth was able to cut the deficit down to one on four separate occasions, but could not take the lead, as Niagara hit two free throws to seal the game late.

“We showed a lot of fight today and played hard,” Craig said. “But turnovers once again hurt us in the third quarter. It’s hard to give away opportunities to win the same way over and over again.”

Middleton’s 22 points was a new career high, surpassing her previous high of 14. For the game, Monmouth shot 41 percent from the field and 26 percent from three.

The two losses dropped the team’s record to 8-19 on the season, and 6-10 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. They will hope to respond in their next game, as they host Fairfield as part of Senior Night on Friday. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m., and the game can be found on ESPN3 and on WMCX 88.9 FM.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell