Total Team Effort Pushes Jaspers Past Monmouth
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – In its most complete offensive performance of the season, the Manhattan College women’s basketball team set season-highs in points and field goal percentage on Thursday evening, as the Jaspers (8-18, 4-13 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) snapped their four-game losing streak with a 75-61 victory over Monmouth (12-13, 7-9 MAAC) at the OceanFirst Bank Center.
“Tonight I really felt we trusted the game plan,” Head Coach Heather Vulin said. “The ball was moving, we weren’t stagnant on offense, and everybody was being aggressive. It was a tremendous team win.”
Monmouth jumped out to a 7-3 lead before the Jaspers scored eight straight points to go up 11-7 with 2:48 left in the first quarter. A layup by KellyAnne O’Reilly (Montville, NJ) put Manhattan in front 15-14, but the Hawks rallied for six points in the final 54 seconds of the period to take a 20-15 lead.
The Hawks extended their advantage to 24-17 at the 8:29 mark of the second quarter before an Amani Tatum (Cambria Heights, NY) jumper and a Kayla Grimme (Altoona, PA) trey cut Manhattan’s deficit to two, 24-22. Grimme then scored eight straight points, including the go-ahead three-pointer, as the Jaspers opened up a 32-26 lead with 3:09 left before halftime. Manhattan’s lead reached seven points at 40-33 with 1:13 remaining in the quarter, and the Jaspers took a 40-35 advantage into the locker room.
It was a six-point game, 52-46, when a Grimme layup started a 9-3 Manhattan run that extended the Jaspers’ cushion to 12 points at 61-49 with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. After a Monmouth free throw, the Hawks hit a layup as time expired in the period to pull within nine, 61-52, entering the final quarter.
With the Jaspers leading 64-54, Maeve Parahus (Congers, NY) drained a three-pointer to start a 9-0 run that increased Manhattan’s cushion to a game-high 19 points, 73-54, midway through the fourth quarter. Nicole Anderson (Hamden, CT) hit a pair of free throws with 1:08 remaining to make it 75-59, and Manhattan won by 14 points, its largest margin of the season, 75-61.
Grimme paced the Jaspers with 25 points and six rebounds. Tatum added 11 points, eight assists and five steals, while Taylor Williams (Windsor, CT) finished with nine points, four boards and four assists. Nyasha Irizarry (Brooklyn, NY) contributed nine points and five rebounds, and Mikki Guiton (Schwenksville, PA) tallied eight points. Manhattan shot 58.8 percent (30-of-51) from the field, 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from three-point land, and 63.6 percent (7-of-11) at the free throw line.
McKinzee Barker led Monmouth with 11 points. Kayla Shaw added 10 points, while Alaina Jarnot finished with nine points, five assists and four rebounds. Erica Balman tallied seven points to go along with a team-best six boards. Tyese Purvis contributed six rebounds for the Hawks, who went 21-for-56 (37.5 percent) from the floor and 14-for-22 (63.6 percent) at the charity stripe. Monmouth, the top three-point shooting team in the MAAC, was just 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc.
On Sunday, the Jaspers return home for a 3 p.m. matchup with Quinnipiac (20-6, 13-3 MAAC). It will be “Senior Day” at Draddy Gymnasium, as seniors Anderson and Parahus will be honored prior to the game.
NOTES: The contest was broadcast nationally on ESPN3…The Jaspers recorded their first win in six ESPN3 appearances this season…Manhattan snapped a five-game losing streak against Monmouth and won at the OceanFirst Bank Center for the first time in program history…The Hawks lead the all-time series 11-10…The Jaspers’ last 70-point game was a 77-55 win over Canisius on Feb. 5, 2016…Grimme, who did all of her scoring in the second and third quarters, had 20 points for the fifth time this season…Williams made her first start since Jan. 10, as Manhattan used its 18th different starting lineup of the season…This was the first meeting of the season between the Jaspers and Hawks, who play again at Draddy Gymnasium next Friday.