M Basketball 11.29.17

Men’s Basketball Defeats Albany to End Losing Streak

The men’s basketball team beat the previous undefeated Albany Great Danes 81-73 after trailing by nine at halftime on Monday night. The win comes after a quadruple overtime loss to University of Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

The Hawks were led in scoring by freshman guard Ray Salnave with a career-high 18 points and added three steals on the night.

“How Ray [Salnave] played today is just scratching the surface of how good he can be,” Head Coach King Rice said. “This is how good he is and I have him in a big role at this point in his career but he’s ready for the challenge.”

A big surprise in the game was when junior guard Micah Seaborn entered the game off the bench in the first half. This was the junior’s first game since being shut down due to injure after the Virginia game. Seaborn finished with 13 points and was a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.

After entering halftime trailing to the Great Danes, Monmouth came back to outscore Albany by 17 points in the second half.

Albany’s lead would be as high as ten in the second half, but MU came back with crucial threes and timely free throws. Monmouth would tie the game after a highly-contested three pointer by Seaborn.

Senior center Zac Tillman scored to take the lead with 3:10 left and the Hawks would keep the lead for the rest of the game. The Hawks would go 10-12 from the free throw line to lock up the win and to end the three-game losing streak.

For the game, Tillman finished with a season-high 15 points, playing only 15 minutes. Freshman guard Deion Hammond added ten points for the blue and white.

“I used last game as motivation to come out tonight and fight harder for my guys,” Salnave said. “The defensive end helped me offensively tonight, and I try to bring energy on defense.”

That last game was on Saturday night, as the Hawks lost to Penn 101-96 in quadruple overtime.

MU was down as much as 15 points in the second half before their defense played lock-down defense to cut the deficient down.

Senior guard Austin Tilghman hit two buzzer-beaters to extend the game, first being a last-second floater to bring the Hawks to the first overtime. The second came in the end of the third overtime, this time being a three pointer. This was Tilghman’s only second made three pointer on the season. The senior finished with his first-career double-double and nearly earned a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists.

After being down by 14 at halftime, Monmouth’s defense forced Penn to go 0-9 from field and didn’t allow a point in a span of over four minutes.

The Hawks and Penn traded points in the first three overtimes, each scoring 25 points through the first 15 minutes of extra time.

In the fourth overtime, Monmouth would lead 96-91 before Penn went on a 10-0 run to finish the game. The forth overtime was the longest game in MU men’s basketball history.

“It’s a good thing that we got a lot of guys that you’re going to use to put in the games,” Rice said. “I thought the young guys that played the major minutes did a great job.”

Freshman guard George Papas finished with a career-high 16 points and added two threes. Freshman forward Melik Martin played a team-high 50 minutes while earning 13 points.

The Hawks (3-4) will look to make it two in a row as they travel to the XL Center to face the University of Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 2. Tip-off will be at 4:00 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics