– The fifth-seeded Monmouth University women’s basketball team outscored fourth-seeded Fairfield, 19-2 in the second quarter and limited the Stags to three field goals over the second and third quarters combined en route to a 64-46 victory in the MAAC Championship Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon at the Times Union Center. With the win, the Hawks (14-16) advance to the semifinals against top-seeded Quinnipiac tomorrow at 11 a.m. on ESPN3.Tyese Purvis
(Queens, NY/Francis Lewis [Monroe C.C.]) led the Hawks with 14 points, while Jamiyah Bethune
(Union, NJ/Union [Penn State]) added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble. Jasmine Walker
(North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) also finished in double figures with 10 points, while Jasmine McCall
(Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan [Seton Hall]) chipped in with eight points, four rebounds and three steals.
Kelsey Carey led Fairfield with 15 points, while Casey Smith (14) and Samantha Cooper (10) also finished in double figures. Cooper completed a double-double with 12 rebounds, while Lizzy Ball contributed eight assists and three steals.
“I’m really happy with how hard we were working on the defensive end,” said Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer
. “To hold them to two points (in the second quarter) was fairly amazing. They shoot a great percentage, typically, as a team. They have a lot of offensive threats and our kids just really battled and were able to play defense without fouling, which I think was a huge thing for us today.”
“Quinnipiac is such a high-powered offense. We see it game in and game out. They’ve been playing unbelievable basketball since January. They’ve become a buzz saw. We know we’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s going to take our “A” game and a total team effort to pull that one out.”
After Fairfield took a 16-15 lead on Smith’s long straightaway jumper with three seconds left in the first quarter, Monmouth opened the second quarter on a 15-0 run and outscored the Stags, 19-2, in the period to take a 34-18 lead into the halftime break. Purvis scored all eight of her first-half points in the 15-0 run, while Dana Carbone
(Toms River, NJ/Monsignor Donovan) added a pair of buckets in the paint to punctuate the first-half scoring. Fairfield scored its lone bucket of the period on a Carey jumper at the 3:48 mark.
Monmouth limited Fairfield to 25.0 percent (8-32) from the floor in the first half, while shooting 41.9 percent (13-31) itself. Monmouth took an 18-8 edge in the paint and a 14-0 advantage on bench scoring.
The Hawks’ defense continued to stifle the Stags, allowing just two field goals in the third quarter. Over the second and third quarters, Monmouth limited Fairfield to 9.3 percent shooting (3-32). Meanwhile, the Hawks extended their lead to as many as 25 on Walker’s lay-up at the 1:21 mark of the third quarter. The closest Fairfield could draw the rest of the way was the final 18-point margin.
For the game, Monmouth outshot Fairfield, 42.3 percent (22-52) to 27.4 percent (17-62) from the floor, including a 25.0 percent (5-20) to 17.6 percent (3-17) edge from long range and a 71.4 percent (15-21) to 69.2 percent (9-13) advantage from the free-throw line. Monmouth outscored Fairfield, 32-20, in the paint, 14-4 on second-chance opportunities and 24-2 in bench scoring.
Next up is a Quinnipiac squad that is on an 18-game winning streak since their last loss on Jan. 2 at Monmouth. Included in the impressive streak was an 85-58 win over the Hawks in Hamden on Jan. 28.
“Quinnipiac is such a high-powered offense,” said Palmateer. “We see it game in and game out. They’ve been playing unbelievable basketball since January. They’ve become a buzz saw. We know we’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s going to take our “A” game and a total team effort to pull that one out.”