The Monmouth University women’s basketball team bounced back from a first round loss to defeat Binghamton University, 60-51, on Dec. 31 in the consolation game of the second annual Hawk Holiday Classic presented by Staybridge Suites of Eatontown. The Hawks improve to 9-3 on the season while the Bearcats fell to 6-6 with the loss.American University won the Classic, defeating Brown University in the final, 56-47, at the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) in West Long Branch.The third-place win marked a milestone for Monmouth head coach Stephanie V. Gaitley, who recorded her 450th triumph as a Division I head coach. Gaitley, in her 25th season as a head coach and her third at Monmouth, is now 450-263 overall and 43-30 with the Hawks.“Winning a lot of games means you’re getting old and you have had a lot of good players,” said Gaitley in a press release. “I want to thank all of our current players and all my former players and assistants for being part of this milestone. You’re only as good as those you surround yourself with.”The Hawks were paced against the Bearcats by Alysha Womack’s (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) 19 points and seven rebounds. She connected on 8 of 14 field goals, including 3 for 6 from three-point range. Junior Alexis Canady (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), who was named to the All-Tournament Team, recorded 14 points and five assists, while Erin Rooney (Christchurch, New Zealand/Marian College) contributed 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.Monmouth, which led by as many as 15 points early in the second half, held a 29-18 lead at the half. The Hawks converted 7 of 16 three-pointers in the first half en route to hitting 10 of 25 (40 percent) for the game.The Hawks forced 21 BU turnovers, converting them into 15 points, and out-rebounded their visitors from upstate New York 42-35. Gabby Singer (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) contributed eight points (2 of 5 three-pointers) off the bench for the Hawks, who wrapped up nonconference play with the win. Binghamton was led by all-tournament team member Viive Rebane, who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Andrea Holmes and Jasbriell Swain added 12 points apiece for the Bearcats, who shot 34.7 percent for the contest.In the loss to Brown from the Ivy League on Dec. 30, the Hawks trailed by 17 points with 15:59 remaining in the contest and staged a furious rally. However, they could never catch the Bears, and fell, 75-71. Womack led all scorers with 21 while Canady and Abby Martin (Maplewood/Columbia High School) each had 18.American University outscored Brown 40- 28 in the second half to erase a 19-16 halftime deficit and win the championship. Liz Leer scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds forAmerican, and Ebony Edward added 13.American, 9-4 on the season, defeated Binghamton, 58-32, in its first-round game.Starting for Brown University at guard is former Colts Neck High School great Lauren Clarke. The freshman netted 11 points in the win overMonmouth and had nine in the final.Clarke is leading theBears (4-9) in scoring (10.8 points per game) and in three-pointers (25).Monmouth will host Quinnipiac in a Northeast Conference game tomorrow in a noon matinee at the MAC. Sacred Heart will make a call inWest Long Branch for another NEC tilt onMonday at 7 p.m.TheHawkswill hit the road for four games before hosting Long Island University on Jan. 29 at 11:30 a.m.