WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HELD OFF BY SIENA THURSDAY, 85-76
Monmouth Hawks (7-8, 2-4 MAAC) – 76
Siena Saints (5-12, 4-4 MAAC) – 85
ALBANY, NY – The Monmouth University women’s basketball team cut Siena’s lead to seven with 5:16 left in the third quarter, but the Saints ran away with the win behind 34 points from Jackie Benitez on Thursday night, 85-76. Siena shot 31-59 (52.5%) from the field and 8-11(72.7%) from three, led by the sophomore guard Benitez who scored a MAAC season-high 34 points (10-13 FG, 6-7 3FG) in the win. Freshman Kayla Shaw added 19 points on 5-9 three-pointers for Monmouth, while classmate Alaina Jarnot added 13 points and five assists in the loss. The Hawks fall to 7-8 on the year and 2-4 in the conference, and will return home for a 2:00 PM matchup with Canisius this Sunday.
NOTES AND QUOTES
“We ran into a buzz saw in Jackie Benitez, who was just unbelievable today. She’s a very strong player who wasn’t missing today and just had a really strong offensive performance. I think we also turned the ball over way too much. We looked a little uncomfortable and a little rushed which led to some missed easy shots. We didn’t get those scoring opportunities because we turned the ball over too much. When you’re turning the ball over too much and playing against a team like Siena with Benitez, you might be able to afford do one of those things; we’re not at a point yet where we can withstand the two.” – Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmateer
-Shaw started for the fifth time this year after being named MAAC Rookie of the Week. Freshman forward Taylor Nason started for the ninth straight game, while senior Christina Mitchell has started all 15 games this year.
-The Hawks built a 7-0 lead in the first 2:05, but Siena’s 11-0 run throughout the first quarter gave the Saints a 22-14 lead after one.
-Shaw hit her fourth three-pointer with 7:03 left to go in the second quarter.
-Siena built a 14-point lead heading into halftime at 48-34, with Benitez scoring 24 points on six threes in the half.
-The Saints saw its lead grow to 18 with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter, taking the 82-64 lead after two Meghan Donohue free throws.
-The 34 points from Benitez are the most against Monmouth this season, with the next closest coming from Lindsey Abed at 25 points in the Hawks’ three-point loss against Hartford on November 26.
-Freshman Adriana Zelaya scored the first points of her career on Thursday night, hitting two three-pointers and a jumper for a total of eight points.
-Shaw has now scored in double-figures 10 times this season, the most on the team. She has scored 57 points over the last three games (19.0 points per game).
-Jarnot has five or more assists in the last four games, with 22 total assists in that span.
-Sophomore guard McKinzee Barker went into double-figures for the third time this season, ending with 10 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
-Siena scored 42 points in the paint while Monmouth had just 16. The Saints also outscored Monmouth in points off turnovers (33-18).
-Thursday marked only the second time this season an opponent has shot 50% or more from the field, with the other one coming from Canisius on December 4.
-Monmouth’s bench narrowly outscored Siena’s bench, 26-25, making it the 14th time in 15 games the Hawks’ bench has had the advantage.
-The Hawks hit 13 three-pointers for the fourth time this season, including the last two games. The program record for threes made in a game stands at 14.
The Hawks will look to even their overall record when they return home on Sunday to face MAAC opponent Canisius at 2:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.