NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Fueled by three double-doubles, the Monroe College women's basketball team wrapped up the Montgomery College Holiday Tournament on Sunday with an 80-69 victory over host Montgomery to claim the tournament title. The Mustangs improve to 8-5 overall on the season after going 2-0 over the weekend.
Samantha Hines was the game's leading scorer with 23 points, completing the double-double with 11 rebounds. Christina Soriano finished with 16 points and 13 boards, adding four blocks as well. Lisana Burnett led the floor with 16 rebounds and registered a double-double of her own with 10 points. Burnett also led the Mustangs with six steals.
The Mustangs took a big lead to open the game with Amani Williams drained a three to make it a 13-3 game just 2:15 into the contest. The Raptors managed to get within six, but the Mustangs kept the upper hand, taking a 23-14 lead into the second quarter.
Midway through the second frame, the Raptors rallied all the way back to tie things up at 26-26, eventually taking a 30-27 lead late in the period. Monroe responded with the final seven points of the half, capped off by a three by Burnett, to take a 34-30 advantage into the break.
Montgomery's Daija Gallion netted the first basket of the third, but Monroe went on an eight-point run to go up, 42-32. The Mustang lead grew to as many as 11 points, but the Raptors were able to fight back, going on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 51 apiece with 1:30 left in the third. Phyness Baldwin halted the run with a three, and the Mustangs were able to hang on to a 56-54 edge heading into the final stanza.
Back-and-forth scoring saw the game reach a 60-60 stalemate at the 7:51 mark. Soriano then scored four straight, followed by a bucket for Shanice Graves and a three by Hines to put the Mustangs on top, 69-60, with six minutes to play. The Raptors made a run to draw within five with under four minutes to go, but Monroe kept the attack going with six straight points to take an 11-point lead, eventually holding on for the 80-69 win.
Monroe shot 44.2 percent (34-of-77) from the field in the win. Rebounds were even at 59 in the game, but the Mustangs held their hosts to just 30.3 percent (27-of-89) shooting for the day. The Mustangs also dominated in from in close, scoring 54 points in the paint.
Monroe will play again in 11 days when they begin the Tallahassee Classic, hosted by Tallahassee Community College from Thursday, Dec. 28, to Friday, Dec. 29. The Mustangs open the tournament against host Tallahassee on Thursday with tip-off at 5:30 p.m.