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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Alуssa Monaghan finishes her career with program highs

Alyssa Monaghan dribbles the ball in Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena. PHOTO: LUKE MALANGA ’20/THE HAWK

Alyssa Monaghan, St. Joe’s women’s   basketball senior guard and four-year starter, finished her collegiate career as an Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team selection.

She also solidified her name in the Hawk program record books, earning accolades such as all-time leader in minutes played, third all-time in career three-pointers attempted and three-pointers made, fifth all-time in free throw percentage and 12th all-time in points. 

Monaghan said she credits these accomplishments to becoming more poised as a player under the guidance of her veteran teammates.

“My confidence grew over time,” Monaghan said. “Coming in freshman year, it was hard to figure out everything that was going on, but I think I became more comfortable as I matured and learned from others.”

Alyssa Monaghan scored her 1,000th carrer point against Saint Louis University on Jan. 9, 2019.

In 2018, Monaghan led the Hawks to an appearance in the A-10 Championship game and Women’s National Invitational Tournament, ranking eighth nationally in her assists-to-turnover ratio. She said this postseason run last year stood out as one of her favorite career moments.

“It was an amazing experience,” Monaghan said. “We were not expected to make it [to the A-10 Championship game], so I think we surprised a lot of people when we kept winning and winning. It was very cool for our success to turn some heads and be able to play in that championship environment.”

Senior guard Kristalyn Baisden shared in this experience. Baisden said Monaghan’s dedication to improve set her apart from other players on the team.

“Her consistency in her shooting and ball handling is amazing,” Baisden said. “It’s hard to come in freshman year and have to play the number of minutes that she did, but I think she handled it really well in the consistent hard work she put forth to become better.”

Baisden said that Monaghan excelled not only in being the Hawks’ go-to player, but also a prominent leader. 

“[Monaghan] is a shy person, but whenever we stepped on the court, she made her voice known and I think that’s something that made the rest of the team more comfortable and confident in ourselves,” Baisden said.

Monaghan stands at 5 foot 5, and Head Coach Cindy Griffin said she had to prove that height doesn’t matter in achieving success.

“She is just the ultimate competitor,” Griffin said. “This competitive nature and spirit is something that drove her to all these accolades, to be the best player on the court every day, to produce every day, to take losing personally, because she truly wanted to win every game that she played.”

In her senior season, Monaghan doubled her free throw attempts and makes, a tribute to her aggressive mentality to attack the basket, according to Griffin. 

“I don’t think it was any secret for anybody who scouted us that Alyssa Monaghan was the best player on our team,” Griffin said. “With that, comes getting the best defensive player on the other team, and that makes it even more incredible when you think of what she achieved.”

Now that Monaghan has made her mark on the St. Joe’s women’s basketball team, Griffin said she is excited for the future.

“She gave us so much every day,” Griffin said. “She really meant a lot to [our younger players], so that excites me because they know the level at which Alyssa worked every day. That is contagious, and so I’m excited for the young players to be able to carry that experience over to the next season.”

While Monaghan has officially finished her career in crimson and grey, she looks forward to remaining involved with the team as a fan.

“It will be cool to be able to see what they can do as a young, talented group,” Monaghan said. “I will be going to a lot of games and cheering them on.”

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