One of the big surprises in the MAAC this season has been Monmouth. On Monday evening the Hawks continued their winning ways, defeating Saint Peter’s 66-62 in overtime. The contest at Monmouth’s Ocean First Bank Center improved the Hawks to 7-4 (12-8 overall) in MAAC play while Saint Peter’s fell to 5-6 (8-12).
The Hawks trailed by seven at intermission. In the third period they outscored the visiting Peacocks 24-10 to take a seven point lead into the final stanza. Monmouth led by eleven with six minutes left and appeared to be in the driver’s seat. Resilient Saint Peter’s went on a late run, tying the game on a three pointer by Kendrea Williams in the final seconds.
Monmouth drew first blood in OT and never looked back, holding the Peacocks without a field goal in the extra session.
Williams led all scorers with 19 points. Kassondra Brown posted a double-double for Marc Mitchell’s club. Brown battled inside to the tune of 17 points, 13 rebounds. Monmouth was paced by Jen Louro with 16 points while Belle Kranbuhl added 15.
Monmouth coach Ginny Boggess was pleased and relieved with the win. Once again her Hawks started slowly before coming on strong. "I tell the team it is a 40 minute game," Boggess said in the aftermath of victory. "We seem to start slow then put together a strong second half. We need to put two halves together."
Boggess was pleased with the play of Kranbuhl who battled Brown down low. "I challenged her (Kranbuhl) at the half," Boggess said. "She responded so well for us and was a big factor in our victory." Kranbuhl, a 6’3" sophomore, added seven rebounds and six blocked shots along with her fifteen points.
Louro’s 16 points were a season-high for her and featured 4 of 6 shooting from long range.
"This was a gritty win," Boggess added, "against a physical and well-coached team….We are improving every day. You have to be around our team on a daily basis to appreciate how much the entire team has and is improving."
Monmouth hits the road for the Western New York swing. The Hawks visit Canisius on Thursday and Niagara on Saturday. Saint Peter’s dropped three straight road games-Fairfield, Manhattan and now Monmouth. The Peacocks return home to host another MAAC surprise, Siena on Thursday.
Tempo free. In a 72 possession game the Hawks owned an 81-77 advantage in offensive efficiency. Saint Peter’s held a 31-18% edge in offensive rebounding percentage. Second chance opportunities and stops on the defensive end allowed Mitchell’s club to make their late game run to force an extra session.