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Sports

Football’s Miles Austin, Baseball’s Brad Brach Inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

Miles Austin and Brad Brach Hall of Fame 1Football’s Miles Austin III and baseball’s Brad Brach ’08 are two of the University’s most iconic athletes and they were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on Dec. 9 as the Class of 2016.

Austin left West Long Branch as the all-time leader in receptions (150), yards (2,867), touchdowns (33), and scoring (216 points). He led the blue and white to back-to-back NEC (Northeast Conference) Championships in 2003 and 2004 and was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection.

Austin became the first Hawk to sign with a National Football league (NFL) team when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 and became a two-time Pro Bowler (2009-10). He hauled in 361 passes for 5,273 yards and 37 touchdowns over his 10-year NFL career with the Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

Austin mentioned that Bill Parcells, who was the head coach at Dallas at the time, found out about him through his connections in New Jersey.

“He had a scout come here and check me out in like 40 degree weather and my tight ends coach was throwing to me,” Austin said. “It was basically like what resembled a pro day, I guess it was the first of its kind here. I was just running routes and catching passes and I ran my 40-yard dash in the old basketball gym. I eventually got picked up by Dallas and the rest is history.”

It took Austin until the middle of the 2009 season to become a viable contributor on offense. But he took that opportunity and never looked back. He got his first start on Oct. 11 of that season and broke the franchise record for receiving yards in a single game (250) that still stands today.

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Emotional Homecoming for Rice as Men’s Basketball Plays North Carolina

MB Rice North CarolinaWhen college basketball fans think about the most iconic venues in the country, Dean Smith Center is near the top of many lists.

Monmouth men’s basketball Head Coach King Rice played collegiate basketball at North Carolina under legendary coach Dean Smith from 1988-91 and was the starting point guard on their 1991 final four team. Rice finished his career at North Carolina third on the Tar Heels’ all-time assist list with 629.

Rice returned to Chapel Hill on Dec. 28 when Monmouth fell to the university of North Carolina 102-74 in front of 20,064 fans. But the experience was so much more than just a game for Rice and the Hawks.

“I want to start out by saying thank you to (Current North Carolina) Coach (Roy) Williams,” an emotional Rice said after the game. “He treats me like I’m one of his sons. He always tries to take care of me since I was a kid. I’m the luckiest guy that in 1987, Coach Smith gave me a scholarship and it’s made me have a great, great, great life.”

“The relationships I have, tonight I had (UNC standout) Jimmy Black sitting with me. J.R. Reid, Coach (Phil) Ford, and many, many more came today because I was here with my team,” Rice added. “And I’m thankful to all the coaches - Coach Ford, Coach (Randy) Weil, Coach (Dick) Harp, Coach Gut (Bill Guthridge). They took a hard-headed young kid and turned him into a man. Took me a little longer than some other people.”

The two teams were close early on before North Carolina went to work. Junior forward Justin Jackson scored 17 points, including five three-pointers, in the first half. But the Hawks ended the first half on a 12-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from half court at the buzzer by redshirt sophomore guard Micah Seaborn, that cut the deficit to single digits going into the locker room.

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Women’s Basketball Downs Quinnipiac

WB Kayla Shaw Quinnipac WinIn front of a crowd of over 2,900, the women’s basketball team defeated Quinnipiac 61-58 Thursday afternoon at the OceanFirst Bank Center.

The Hawks received key points late, as freshman guard Rosa Graham hit six consecutive free throws in the final 1:15 of the game.

“I just knew that’s what my team needed me for as their point guard, because I’m who they go after at the end,” Graham said after the game. “We know Quinnipiac is a top team in the conference so it gives us more confidence heading into the tournament.”

Freshman guard Kayla Shaw led all scorers with 20 points, making four out of eight 3-point attempts. Graham finished with eight points and five rebounds, and freshman guard Alaina Jarnot finished with seven points.

The teams were tied at 17 after the first quarter, but Quinnipiac used a 7-0 run towards the end of the second quarter to take a 35-28 lead into halftime. The Hawks outscored the Bobcats 33-23 in the final 20 minutes, including a five-point margin in both the third and fourth quarters.

Monmouth took its first lead since the second quarter with a free throw from freshman forward Alexa Middleton, who made the score 49-48 with 8:54 remaining. Quinnipiac responded with a three-point shot, and Monmouth came back with a layup from senior guard Helena Kurt to give the Hawks a 53-51 lead with 6:13 remaining.

The Hawks received the six points from Graham in the final 1:15, and came away with two big defensive stops late to seal the huge conference victory.

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Upcoming Games 1/25/17

Thursday, Jan. 26

WBB at Fairfield*

Alumni Hall

Fairfield, CT 7:00 pm

 

Friday, Jan. 27

Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track

Villanova Open

Staten Island, NY 12:00 pm

Women’s Swimming

Sacred Heart

West Long Branch, NJ 4:30 pm

MBB vs. Quinnipiac*

OceanFirst Bank Center

West Long Branch, NJ 9:00 pm

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Men’s Basketball Opens MAAC Play 2-0

MB Win Canisus 91 72The men’s basketball team opened up Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play with two victories defeating Quinnipiac 91-72 on Dec. 1 and Canisius by six points at OceanFirst Bank Center on Dec. 4.

The Hawks had a four point halftime lead on Canisius, but the Golden Griffs would not go down without a fight. They came out of the intermission and made four consecutive three-pointers to take a five point lead and led by as much as seven after a three by Chris Atkinson, who was 3-3 from deep, that gave the visitors a 77-70 lead with 9:57 to play.

But two of the league’s top players, who combined for 53 points on the day, stepped up when they were needed the most. Senior point guard Justin Robinson scored 11 of his 28 points in the final eight minutes of the contest while sophomore guard Micah Seaborn finished the day with 25 points, six of those coming in that same frame, and had a key steal and layup at 1:43 that gave Monmouth a five point lead at that point.

“Players win basketball games and our kids today really had to dig deep to get this done,” Monmouth Head Coach King Rice said after the game. “With saying that, that is a credit to Canisius and their head coach, Reggie Witherspoon. I’ve known him a long time and I’ve admired his work as a coach. His team was well prepared and they played how you should to try to beat us and they did everything right, but our kids pulled it out down the stretch.”

“My biggest thing this year is being a leader throughout the entire course of the game,” Robinson said. “Every year I’ve gotten better at being a leader. When it comes time for crunch time, the ball is in my hands. But if it’s not me, it’s Micah or Je’lon. We’re three interchangeable guards, but we all want the ball at the end of the game.”

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The New Face of Monmouth Athletics: Suzi Mellano

MU Athletics Suzi MellanoIf you have watched any of the on campus ESPN3 broadcasts this semester, there is a good possibility that you have seen Suzi Mellano on camera.

Mellano came to Monmouth this fall as the Athletics department Digital Media Correspondent after graduating from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas with a degree in sports broadcasting in 2015.

“I was actually recruited to play volleyball there but I was cut in my freshman year before I could really be a part of the team. It was a disappointment for me but it is very difficult to play a division one sport being a sports broadcasting major,” Mellano said. “It was a blessing of disguise at the time and I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have been able to do the work that I did in school and I wouldn’t be here right now. I loved my time at TCU.”

Mellano grew up in San Diego, California and played many sports. Her favorite is baseball and she was the only girl on her team growing up before being the stat girl for her high school varsity team.

“It’s magical and there’s no other sport like it,” Mellano said about America’s pastime. “I grew up in a baseball family and I learned how to keep a scorebook when I was about six or seven years old. It’s just always been a part of my life and I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t.”

It did not take long for Mellano to realize that she wanted to make a career in the sports industry.

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Never a Dull Moment: Mallory Kusakavitch’s Dynamic Experience

Mallory Kusakavitch Dynamic ExperienceMost division one student athletes could not imagine having another major commitment on their plate. Between class and practice, their days are filled to the brim as it is, the idea of adding in additional obligations would seem impossible to them, except for one.

Meet Mallory Kusakavitch, a junior health studies student and a forward on the field hockey team here at Monmouth.  However, those are not the only two responsibilities that Kusakavitch has undertaken.

She is also a part of the Reserved Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), a program that guarantees graduates an officer role in their selected military branch.

Monmouth does not offer an ROTC program and thus Kusakavitch needs to make the trek up to Rutgers, where it is offered all the while balancing it with her other obligations.

Her days start at time where college students are still sound asleep and the sun has not even broken the morning sky.

“Typically I wake two times a week around 4:30 to get to Rutgers and then I am there until I have to leave to come back to practice which is at 1:00. So usually I am leaving Rutgers around 11:00 to make it here for practice,” Kusakavitch said. “After practice I have a 4:30 class every single day. I am rushing to Rutgers, practice, class and finally at 6:00 I can start work that I am behind on.”

Kusakavitch admits that none of this would be possible without her extensive support system. Her coaches, the ROTC program leaders, friends and family have made the journey as painless for her as possible.

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Women’s Basketball Drops Two Conference Games Over Weekend

WB Loss Canisus 74 54The Monmouth University Women’s basketball team fell to Canisius 74-54 Sunday afternoon at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Freshman forward Taylor Nason scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Monmouth, while freshman guard Rosa Graham scored nine points and corralled six rebounds.

Canisius opened the scoring 14 seconds into the contest and never relinquished their lead for the rest of the game. Monmouth was able to trim the deficit to five points at the end of the first quarter with the score 20-15. The Golden Griffins responded with 26-11 scoring run in the second quarter to make the halftime score 46-26. The largest lead of the game came with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, as Canisius led 71-45.

“It was a disappointing day for us,” Monmouth Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “Obviously those are not the results we were looking for this weekend, but on the flip side I think we learned a lot of lessons by having these two early conference games.”

For the game, Monmouth shot 30.1 percent from field goal range and just 15.4 percent from three-point range. On the flip side, Canisius shot 53.3 percent from field goal range and 46.7 percent from three. The Hawks made just four three-pointers after coming into the game ranking eighth in the country in three-point field goals made per game at 9.8.

The Hawks did score nine fast break points in the game and 17 second chance points. Monmouth was outscored by 10 in the paint, 44-34.

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Side Lines 12/7/16

Indoor track:

The men’s and women’s indoor track teams opened their indoor track season on Dec. 1 in the Monmouth Indoor Season Opener at OceanFirst Bank Center. The men finished first place in the three team field, defeating Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rivals Rider and Saint Peter’s. The women finished second, falling to Rider but besting Saint Peter’s. “First meets are a great opportunity to see where we are at as a team, and to see what we need to work on,” Monmouth Head Coach Joe Compagni said. “I know that we will work to get better in many ways in the weeks ahead, but we have many sprinters, jumpers and throwers that put together some very strong first meet performances today.” Both teams were also chosen by the MAAC to repeat as conference champions in their preseason polls. Both the men and women will next compete in the Princeton New Year Invite on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Bowling:

The women’s bowling team earned their first ever ranking in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll, placing ninth. The team finished their fall schedule with an 18-6 record and return to action on Jan. 13 at the three-day Mid-Winter Invite at Jonesboro Bowling Center in Jonesboro, AR.

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Side Lines 11/30/16

Football: The University’s football team dropped their final game of the season to the Gardner Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs, 34-33 in overtime. Redshirt freshman quarterback Kenji Bahar had his bast game to date, completing 27 of 38 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Lavon Chaney ended his Monmouth career with a two touchdown performance, gaining 150 yards on 21 carries. Redshirt sophomore wide reciever Reggie White Jr. hauled in 10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. “I’m very happy, very proud with the way the players battled today,” Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “At times I thought they played extremely hard. They put us in a position to win, but unfortunately we weren’t able to come away with the victory. The outcome can’t take away from the tremendous effort the team gave today.” The team finished the season with a 4-7 record and placed five players on 2016 All-Big South Conference teams. Junior safety Mike Basile, junior offensive lineman Alex Thompson, and White were named to the first team while senior wide reciever Darren Ambush and senor defensive end Darnell Leslie garnered second team honors.

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Men’s Basketball Improves to 4-2

MB Chris Brady 4 2The men’s basketball team picked up three victories over Thanksgiving break. They defeated Cornell 76-61 on Nov. 22 and followed that up with wins over South Carolina State and a late comeback over Holy Cross in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational over the weekend.

“We’re never going to quit,” Head Coach King Rice said after the Holy Cross game. “For as long as I’ve been the head coach at Monmouth, we have never quit and our kids did not quit today.”

The Hawks were trailing Holy Cross 77-72 with 13.4 seconds left when sophomore forward Pierre Sarr laid one in, plus one, cutting the deficit to three. They then forced a five second violation on the inbound and regained possession, when redshirt sophomore guard Micah Seaborn drew a foul after scoring and converted the three-point play, giving Monmouth a 78-77 advantage with 7.5 seconds remaining. Junior guard Austin Tilghman forced a turnover and converted both free throws, giving the Hawks an 80-77 win.

 “That’s just Coach Rice having confidence in me to come in and be a defensive presence,” Tilghman said about the final play. “I just knew if I could get a hand on the ball that we would be good.”

The Hawks overpowered South Carolina State the previous day, coming away with an 86-62 win and leading by as many as 28 points. Seaborn became just the second Hawk in program history to make eight three-pointers in a game, joining Dave Calloway who made nine against Pepperdine on Jan. 2, 1990. Seaborn finished the afternoon with 25 points.

“I was working with Coach Sam Ferry and then coming back and shooting at night again,” Seaborn said. “Coach Rice helped me a lot by telling me how much work I put in. He wants me to keep shooting and today I kept making shots.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu