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Monday, March 05, 2007

MU women at SHU/Press story for Tuesday

MONMOUTH

at SACRED HEART

7 p.m.

88.9 FM

NOTE THIS: -----The game is available on live streaming video on the Internet for a fee at the Sacred Heart athletic web site - http://sacredheartpioneers.cstv.com/index-main.html.

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
It's safe to assume there wasn't a sizable population which gave the Monmouth University women's basketball team much of a chance in last Saturday's Northeast Conference Tournament game at Quinnipiac.

""Everyone thought we were going to lose,'' said sophomore Jennifer Bender whose fifth-seeded Hawks (18-12) pulled off the quarterfinal round upset.

The victory set the stage for Tuesday's semifinal game at defending champion and No. 3 seed Sacred Heart (20-9).

The winner will advance to play in Saturday's 3 p.m. championship game vs. the winner of Tuesday's other semifinal between No. 2 Robert Morris (22-7) and No. 8 St. Francis, N.Y. (12-18) at the home floor of the highest remaining seed.

At stake is the conference's automatic bid to the NCAAs.

"I told our kids, "People don't expect us to be here, we don't have a lot of respect,'' said Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach. ""Even though we have 18 wins now I still don't think we do (have respect).""

She knows skeptics will point out the Bobcats were without their leading scorer, sophomore point guard Erin Kerner who suffered a season-ending knee injury last month.

However, even without Kerner, Quinnpiac went on to post regular season wins over No. 1 seed Long Island U. and Robert Morris.

""People are playing on the fact that, "Well, you beat Quinnipiac but they didn;t have Kerner,' '' said Baxter. ""But that's part of the game and they had quality wins without her. And it'll be the same thing going into Sacred Heart.

""Everyone is going to sort of think Quinnipiac was a fluke.''

No one will be thinking that if Monmouth wins this time vs. the senior-laden Pioneers led by reigning NEC Player of the Year and current scoring leader Amanda Pape (19.0 ppg.).

The 5-8 guard , one of three senior starters, scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds and 6-1 senior JasmineWalker 18 points and 14 rebounds in a Feb. 24 win at Monmouth, 59-54.

In that game Sacred Heart rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to win its fourth game in row from Monmouth dating back to the 2004-2005 season.

Monmouth, which outrebounded Quinnpiac, 42-28, will have to reestablish itself on the glass vs. Sacrerd Heart.

In the Feb. 24 game the Pioneers outrebounded Monmouth, 39-35, grabbing 19 off the offensive glass with Walker taking down nine and Pape six.

"'We're definitely going to have to control the boards,'' said Baxter. ""That's the thing we really knew we had to do against Quinnpiac and I really feel we have to do against Sacred Heart.''

""They're a solid team and they play very well at home (10-3),'' said Baxter. ""They're a physical team, and they have a lot of seniors.''

Monmouth is mainly comprised of sophomores and juniors. ""When you have seniors like that and they come to play they're a very hard team to beat,'' Baxter said.""But if we control the boards and take care of the ball I think we have a great shot at winning.''

Monmouth injured point guard Brianne Edwards expects to play Tuesday after a 32-minute stint vs. Quinnipiac. Baxter said Edwards suffered a torn meniscus in her left kee in the Feb. 24 game, a problem that will require surgery after the season.




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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so will you be covering high school ball?

2:36 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

That's (hs baseball) - the plan, far as I know.

7:57 PM, March 06, 2007  

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