2024 Monmouth Women’s Basketball Game 12 Preview
Article by: Megan O’Brien, Monmouth University Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
Monmouth Hawks (7-4, 0-0 CAA) vs. William & Mary (4-7, 0-0 CAA)
Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 - 7:00 p.m.
OceanFirst Bank Center - West Long Branch, N.J.
• The Hawks open their Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) Title defense as they welcome William & Mary to the OceanFirst Bank Center.
• Monmouth won four games in four days last March to capture the title in their first year in the league.
• MU comes into conference play riding a five-game win streak, following a 91-51 win over Georgian Court.
• Kaci Donovan and Rosalie Mercille led the Hawks with 20 points apiece in the win over the Lions.
• Monmouth has won five straight games, tying the longest win streak under head coach Ginny Boggess.
• The Hawks are 4-2 at home this season. Monmouth is 21-12 when playing in the OceanFirst Bank Center under head coach Ginny Boggess.
• Belle Kranbuhl led the Hawks with seven steals against Georgian Court. It is tied for sixth most in single-game history at Monmouth and the most by a Hawk since 2005.
• The Hawks scored 91 points on Monday against Georgian Court. It was the most points scored by a Monmouth squad since the 2007-08 season. .
• Monmouth hit a season-high 21 free throws against Georgian Court. Kaci Donovan led the way with 10 makes from the charity stripe. It was the second straight season that the Hawks have made 21 free throws in a game.
• The Hawks grabbed 61 rebounds against Georgian Court. Belle Kranbuhl had 12 rebounds while Divine Dibula added 10. It was the most rebounds in a game by a Hawks team in the last 10 years.
• The Hawks had a season-high 20 assists against Georgian Court. Sandrine Clesca and Jania Hall led the way with five helpers each in the game.
TITLE DEFENSE SET TO BEGIN
With the start of Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) play, comes time for the Hawks' title defense to begin. Last year, their first in the CAA, saw Monmouth win four games in four days as the seventh seed to capture the CAA Championship. This year, the Hawks were picked to finish sixth in the CAA Preseason Poll. Monmouth will play 18 regular season games before advancing to the CAA Championship which will be held March 13-17 in Washington, D.C.
Monmouth had a pair of players score 20 points apiece in the win over Georgian Court on Monday. Kaci Donovan and Rosalie Mercille each reached the plateau against the Lions. For Donovan, it was the second time this season and fifth time in her career. Mercille reached the mark for the first time during her rookie campaign.
LET'S GO STREAKING
With the win over Georgian Court, the Hawks stretched their current win streak to five straight games. It ties last year's squad for the longest win streak under head coach Ginny Boggess (5 games - Mar. 4-12). It is the longest win streak by a Hawks squad since the 2011-12 team won eight in a row.
During the current win streak, the Hawks are averaging 71.2 points per game while holding opponents to 50 points per game. In addition the Hawks are outrebounding opponents by a +15.2 margin. Kaci Donovan is averaging a team-best 17.4 points per game while Belle Kranbuhl is pulling down a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game.
DEFENSE STARTS WITH A "B"
Senior center Belle Kranbuhl turned in a strong performance on the defensive end against Georgian Court. Kranbuhl finished with a career-high seven steals, a season-high 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Kranbuhl's seven steals are tied for sixth in single-game history at Monmouth and are the most by a Hawk since Niamh Dwyer has seven in 2005. Her 12 rebounds are the most by a Hawk this season and it was the fourth time this season she has recorded four or more blocks in a single-game.
WE'LL TAKE THE CHARITY
The Hawks hit 21-of-30 chances from the foul line against Georgian Court. It was a season-high for the Hawks and the second time under head coach Ginny Boggess that the Hawks have hit 21 free throws in a game. Kaci Donovan led the way as she was 10-for-12 in the game while seven other players hit at least one free throw.
Monmouth improved to 5-1 on the year when the Hawks hit at least 10 free throws in a single-game.
CLEANING THE GLASS
Monmouth outrebounded Georgian Court, 61-29 last time out. Belle Kranbuhl led the Hawks with a season-high 12 rebounds while Divine Dibulaadded a season-best 10 rebounds. It was the most rebounds by the Hawks in a game in the last 10 years.
The Hawks are 4-1 this season when they pull down 40 or more rebounds in a game and 5-0 when they win the rebounding battle by a +10 margin. Last season the Hawks were 8-3 when they pulled down 40 or more rebounds in a game. Belle Kranbuhl is averaging a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game while two other Hawks are averaging better than four rebounds per game.
During the current win streak, the Hawks have registered 71 assists on 126 made baskets. Clesca (16), Hall (14) and Belle Kranbuhl (10) lead the way in that category. On the season, the Hawks are 6-0 when they record 10 or more assists in a game. Kranbuhl and Clesca lead the way with 24 assists each on the season.
SCOUTING THE TRIBE
William & Mary is 4-7 on the year and last played on Dec. 21 when the Tribe fell to #15 Virginia Tech, 76-43. Nylah Young is averaging a team-high 16.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Bella Nascimento is adding 13.8 points per game with 34 assists.
Monmouth remains home to host CAA newcomer, Campbell on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m.