M Basketball 01.31.18

Men’s Basketball Goes 2-1 in Five Days

Men’s basketball lost to the Rider Broncs 92-82 on Monday night after the Hawks beat the Siena Saints and the Marist Red Foxes.

The Hawks were down as much as 20 early in the second half but they battled back to be down as little as five twice late in the game. The Broncs were able to hold the lead after making late free throws.

“Tonight I told my kids that I don’t like losing, but I was more proud of this team right here because we could have hung our heads,” Head Coach King Rice said. “We got down, their crowd got loud and I thought one, maybe two more plays and we could have gotten over the hump but they made big shot after big shot so credit to them.”

Senior guard Austin Tilghman recorded his second straight double-double, having 18 points and 11 assists. Freshman guard Ray Salnave led the team with 19 points and added five rebounds. Freshman guard Deion Hammond had another stellar game, scoring double-digit points for the fourth straight game.

“We were just moving too fast, and Coach Rice is always telling us we have to slow down sometimes,” Salnave said. “Some people will credit the fact that we’re young so maybe we have to take things a little bit slower but we were just moving too fast, we just gave them the ball a couple times in the first half.”

On Sat., Jan. 27, the Hawks won their second game in a row, defeating the Marist Red Foxes 91-78 at Nassau Coliseum. Tilghman had a double-double, having 24 points and 12 rebounds. He also had six assists and three steals. Hammond matched Tilghman in points with 24 himself with five three-pointers.

“Tonight, these two guys [Hammond and Tilghman] down the stretch really carried us, and then Deion and Austin got us those quick seven and we could breathe again and we were able to win the game,” Rice said.

The Hawks would lead for most of the game before Marist went on a 11-0 run in the second half to give them the 64-62 lead with 6:19 left. The blue and white would retake the lead after a Tilghman jumper, a steal, and two made free throws in the span of 27 seconds. Monmouth would keep the lead thanks to three Hammond three-pointers and late free throws.

On Thurs., Jan. 25, Monmouth defeated the Siena Saints 67-56. Tilghman led the way for the Hawks, scoring a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds. Hammond added 17 points, and sophomore guard Louie Pillari had ten points in only 16 minutes played.

“When you have a big group leave and you got a bunch of new kids, to get them to understand the level of this league is a hard thing to do,” Rice said. “(Siena Head Coach) Jimmy [Patsos]’s team really fought hard today, you have to give those kids a lot of credit.”

The blue and white were down at halftime 30-29, but a junior forward Diago Quinn jumper 27 seconds into the game would give Monmouth the 31-30 lead and they would not trail the rest of the way.

“This whole week we emphasized defense and I thought we really had a good week of defensive practice,” Tilghman said. “We came out and we were struggling a little bit and they were all over our glass and in our paint. We kept our composure and stayed together and really fought. This was a game that we needed.”

Up next, the Hawks (7-14, 3-6 MAAC) will play two home games, first against Fairfield on Fri., Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. and then Niagara on Sun., Feb. 4 at 2:00 p.m. The games will be available on WMCX 88.9.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics