NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A big lead early in the game and a strong push late in the contest helped the Monroe College women's basketball team to an 80-65 victory over UConn-Avery Point Tuesday evening at the Monroe Athletic Complex. The Mustangs improve to 14-12 with the win, while the Pointers fall to 21-6 overall.
The Mustangs quickly took control in Tuesday's contest, running out to a 14-4 lead by the 5:03 mark of the first quarter. The Mustangs later went on a 9-0 run to take a 15-point lead, closing out the opening frame with a 25-9 advantage over the Pointers.
The Mustangs' lead stretched to 19 points with 7:57 left to play in the half. The Pointers slowly began chipping away at the deficit, drawing within 12 with under a minute to play in the frame. Monroe netted the next three points, but the Pointers added two more in the final seconds, leaving the Mustangs up, 36-23, heading into the locker room.
A quick 8-2 run for the Pointers to open the second half got the visitors back within seven. Later in the frame, the Mustangs rattled off six straight points, pushing their lead back up to 13. A late 8-0 run got the Pointers within four, but the Mustangs pushed their lead back to six before the end of the period, taking a 56-50 lead into the fourth.
The Pointers cut the Mustangs' lead down to five and pressured the home team early in the fourth, but Monroe regained its composure, tallying 11 straight points to push the lead right back out to 16 points. UConn-Avery Point got as close as 11 down the stretch, but the Mustangs finished strong to claim a 15-point win.
Shanice Graves led the Mustangs with 21 points, adding six rebounds in the win. Amani Williams filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, seven boards, six assists and four steals. Phyness Baldwin added 13 points and dished out a team-best eight assists. Lisana Burnett led all players with 12 rebounds, adding seven points and three steals.
The Mustangs get back to work on Thursday, Feb. 22, when they host Baltimore City Community College at the Monroe Athletic Complex. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.