Monmouth Women's Basketball Team Falls in Opening Round of NEC Tournament
Loss dashes any hopes of NCAA tournament bid for Hawks
Sara English (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West [UMass]) had a double-double of 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, but the Monmouth University women’s basketball team fell to Mount St. Mary’s, 59-57, in overtime in the Northeast Conference Tournament Quarterfinals Sunday afternoon at the Multipurpose Activity Center.
With the loss, the Hawks wrapped up their season at 15-15, while the Mountaineers, also at 15-15, move on to face top-seeded Quinnipiac in the NEC Semifinals on Wednesday.
English grabbed six of her rebounds on the offensive glass and added a team-high four assists and four blocks. Alysha Womack (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) scored 12 points to finish her career with 1,496 points, ranking fifth in program history. Abigail Martin (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) had 11 points to finish with 1,080 career points, good for 14th at MU.
Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) added eight rebounds for the Hawks, while Carly Thibault (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) also had eight points.
Sydney Henderson led Mount St. Mary’s with 17 points, while Jacqueline Brewer added 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Tara Lonergan and Selina Mann chipped in with eight points apiece, while Lonergan also blocked a game-high five shots.
After MU scored the first bucket of the game, the Mountaineers went on a 16-0 run to take a 16-2 lead. The Hawks gradually cut the deficit to six on a pair of English free throws, but a Henderson jumper gave the Mount an eight-point cushion, 26-18, at the halftime break.
Henderson led the Mount with nine points at the half, while English and Chevannah Paalvast (Auckland, New Zealand/Massey) had six points each for the Hawks. English also added seven rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
Down nine after a Brewer jumper with 17:26 left in regulation, the Hawks went on a 15-0 run to go on top by six, 36-30, by the 12:51 mark. Consecutive three-pointers by Thibault and Womack cut the deficit to three, before a lay-up by Betsy Gadziala (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro) off an English feed cut it to one.
Another Thibault three gave Monmouth its first lead since less than a minute and a half into the first half. Martin extended the run to 16-0 with a pair of post moves. Five lead changes later, the Mount took a three-point lead on a Jessie Kaufman lay-up with 3:56 left in regulation.
A Martin lay-up and 1-of-2 free throws from Womack with 13 seconds left in regulation tied the game and sent the teams to overtime.
The Hawks ran out to a five-point lead on a Womack runner, a Martin lay-up and 1-of-2 free throws from Martin. But the Mountaineers scored six of the next seven points to tie the game at 55-55. Gadziala’s lay-up off an English feed gave Monmouth a 57-55 advantage with two minutes left. Lonergan tied the game at 57-57 with 1:45 remaining.
With 38.8 seconds remaining and inbounding the ball from the sideline on the Mount St. Mary’s end of the court, the Mountaineers double teamed the one Hawk on that end of the court to receive the inbounds pass.
Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer screamed for a timeout, but the officials didn’t hear her. The inbounds pass was intercepted and Mount St. Mary’s called timeout. With the shot clock running down, Ashley Christie made a driving bucket in the paint with eight seconds left in overtime. Singer’s jumper as time expired would not fall and the Mountaineers came away with the victory.
For the game, the Mountaineers edged the Hawks, shooting 33.8 percent (23-68) to Monmouth’s 33.3 percent (21-63) from the floor. The Mount also took a 75.0 percent (9-12) to 60.0 percent (12-20) advantage from the free-throw line. Monmouth outshot the Mountaineers, 30.0 percent (3-10) to 23.5 percent (4-17) from long range. The Hawks took a 50-43 edge on the glass.