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Sunday, November 18, 2007

MU women's hoops/Hawks fall to "Nova

VILLANOVA 53, MONMOUTH 39

Villanova (2-1) 53: Kurz 1-7 0-0 2, Witman 6-15, 2-2 12, Karcic 4-12 2-2 13, Getty 4-6 0-0 7, Grant 2-3 1-2 7, Weiss 0-0 0-0 0, O'Connor 1-5 1-2 3, Dougherty 1-2 0-0 2, Swiezynski 0-0 0-0 0, Elliott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-50 6-8 53.

Monmouth (0-3) 39: McElroy 4-11 0-0 9, Ferdinand 2-5 0-0 6, Bender 4-7 0-0 11, Montas 1-10 3-3 5, Ware 2-10 1-2 5, Kudirka 0-1 0-0 0, Schanuel 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Barber 2-5 1-1 5. Totals: 15-50 8-10 39.

Halftime: Villanova 29-16. 3-point goals: Villanova 9-30 (Kurz 0-1, Witman 3-10, Karcic 3-10, Getty 1-3, Grant 2-3, O'Connor 0-3). Monmouth 1-6 (McElroy 1-2, Montas 0-1, Ware 0-3). Rebounds: Villanova 34 (Kurz 8). Monmouth 34 (Bender 7). Assists: Villanova 16 (Grant 5). Monmouth 10 (Ferdinand 3). Attendance: 473.

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
WEST LONG BRANCH - Michele Baxter, Monmouth University women's basketball coach, had some company on her bench in street clothes Sunday that she would have very much preferred to see wearing blue and white uniforms.

Seated next to her, due to injuries and illness, were three seniors and four starters from last season who have amassed 2,166 career points.

The group that took the floor in a 53-39 non-conference loss to Villanova at Boylan Gym totaled about half that production.

""We as seniors are sitting there right now and it's kind of mind-boggling for us,'' said senior guard Veronica Randolph who missed the game with a concussion.

""We're trying to get it together,'' said Randolph who has started 50 games in her career, 28 last season. ""It's hard when you're injury plagued and you've got so many people with so much experience sitting down.

""It kind of hurts the team in a lot of ways, scoring, rebounding, hustling. It's hard for us to try and put everything together right now.''

At least, according to Baxter, Randolph is due to return to practice today and be ready for this weekend's trip by Monmouth (0-3) to the University of Miami Thanksgiving Tournament in Coral Gables, Fla.

But Baxter said junior guard Marisa Jimenez (gall bladder surgery) probably won't see action until a Nov. 28 game vs. St. John's and senior point guard and returning leader scorer Brianne Edwards (knee) may not return until after Christmas.

The season and career could be over for senior center Lindsey Zegowitz who suffered a torn ACL Nov. 12 at Lafayette.

Sunday Monmouth was hurt by nine threes by the Wildcats (2-1), three each from senior Stacie Witman (17 points) and junior Lisa Karcic (13 points).

"'We batted all the way through to the end,'' said Monmouth guard Nyaimah Ware, suddenly the team's only experienced senior regular.

Ware said Monmouth can't use the injuries as an excuse for its slow start. ""We've got to work without them (the missing players),'' said Ware. "'You lose people all the time. You've got to work around it.''

After shooting just 23 percent (6-for-26) in the first half when it fell behind by as many as 15 points Monmouth made a run in the second half.

Twice it got within six points, the last time on a jump shot by junior forward Jennifer Bender (11 points, seven rebounds) that drew it within 45-39 with 6:24 showing.

Monmouth failed to score another point after that.

""We just weren't knocking down shots,'' said Ware who had five points, four rebounds, and two steals.

""We had wide open shots. We missed layups, we missed twos, we missed threes.''

With Randolph and her team leading 111 career treys not playing sophomore Brooke McElroy sank Monmouth's only 3 of the night.

"'Defensively we played pretty solid,'' said Baxter. ""They hit some threes which was pretty much their game.

""But they didn't have a whole lot of points. That's all you can sort of hope for.

""We had those 2,000 points sitting on the bench,'' Baxter said. ""We only needed about 14 of them tonight.''

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