NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Monroe Mustangs women’s basketball team came out of finals week with enough energy to hustle their way to two convincing wins in the Winter Tip-off Invitational they hosted at the MAC this past weekend. The 11-5 Mustangs now head into the holiday break.
Monroe (Division II) handily defeated a talented and top-ranked Division III Onondaga team 67-49 with a second-half surge on Friday and manhandled District rival CCRI 77-46 in the weekend’s final game on Sunday.
“We needed it and a good way to go into the break,” said coach James Robinson Jr. “Two good wins and most important a lot of girls getting comfortable and lot of girls got some playing time in this tournament, so it was good for us.”
There was an abundance of Mustangs ‘good’ on display all weekend as the talent and hard work by Monroe characterized their play. Against Onondaga on Friday, sophomore Breana Bey was dominant, scoring 22 points and hauling in eight rebounds.
But she wasn’t the only Mustang who excelled. Numbers that just leap off the box score are sophomore Aanise Barnes’ 12 points off the bench, freshman Linda Ulasi’s 15 rebounds. and 11 more from frosh Troniqua Black.
Monroe led by six at the half, but their front line commanded the game from there.
On Sunday in the defeat of CCRI, it was all Monroe all the time. The Mustangs led by 24 at the half, only giving up 14-points in the entire period. Freshman Shania Johnson was simply awesome with 24 points on 9/11 shooting including 6/7 from the arc, and all that only 16 minutes of playing time.
Despite Monroe’s on-court excellence, after the game Coach Robinson emphasized off-court priorities.
“This was finals week,” he said. “This is a tough period of the year to play because the girls were stressed out based on their finals. They all did really, really well on their tests and I’m most proud of that more than anything. My coaching staff pushed the study halls in the morning and they worked hard with the girls.”