M Basketball 02.28.18

Men’s Basketball Defeats Rider on Senior Day

Men’s basketball defeated the Rider Broncs 91-77 on Senior Night on Thursday. The game was before falling to the Fairfield Stags 69-66 in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon.

Junior guard Micah Seaborn started off the first half with 11 points while being a perfect 4-4 from the field and 3-3 from behind the arc. The junior would finish the half with 21 points, the most points scored in a half by a Hawk.

“I was feeling good in shootaround and then when I hit my first one I knew this was going to be a good night,” Seaborn said. “I’m just glad that we got it because I know I’ve never had someone lose on a Senior Night. I always try to make sure the people going out do whatever they can to go out on a good note, no matter how the year went. I just really focused on Austin [Tilghman] and Zac [Tillman] and Dan [Pillari], and of course our team but making sure they went out on the right note.”

“Tonight, on Senior Night, I wanted it for these kids so badly for these seniors,” Head Coach King Rice said.

In the first four minutes, the Hawks would be up 17-3 without a single missed shot going into the first media timeout. Monmouth would control the whole half, going into half time up 50-32. Seaborn was 8-9 from the field while also being 5-6 from three.

In the second half, their lead would be as high as 20 points with 10:37 left after a freshman guard Ray Salnave layup. The Broncs would bring it to within 12 with 5:17 left but the Hawks would finish the game, winning 91-77.

Seaborn finished with a career-high 30 points, his most since Dec. 2nd against UConn.

“Micah is a basketball guy. When his body is healthy, he is one of the top guys if not the top guy in this league,” Rice said. “He was freshman of the year as a freshman, all-league as a sophomore, and we had plans for a lot of things for him this year and he’s showing you, when healthy, he can do a lot of great things on the court.”

For the game, Tilghman and Salnave finished with 15 points each. Tilghman added seven assists and Salnave grabbed four rebounds. The Hawks shot 55 percent from the field and 57 percent from behind the arc.

On Saturday, Monmouth fell to the Fairfield Stags 69-66. The blue and white were up by as much as 11 with 5:46 left before the Stags came back to retake the lead with 1:17 left.

“I think we got a little too complacent with the lead and Fairfield stayed positive about it all and they made plays,” Salnave said.

“We just have to get everybody back together and have a better night on Thursday night, that’s all,” Rice said. “We weren’t really playing for seeding, we just wanted to get on a roll.”

The Hawks went into halftime up 36-30, with freshman guard Deion Hammond and Salnave leading the team with nine points each. Hammond was 3-5 from the field while being 2-4 from behind the arc.

In the second, Monmouth would be up by 11 after a pair of sophomore guard Louie Pillari free throws with 5:46 left. Two layups and three-pointers would close the gap to one for the Stags. A dunk and four free throws would give Fairfield their first lead since the two minute mark in the first. Two Hammond free throws would make it 67-66 Fairfield but the Stags would make a layup on the next possession to bring it to the eventual score of 69-66. Salnave would miss a potential game-tying three-pointer with time expiring.

The Hawks (11-19, 7-11 MAAC) will now go into the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament as the eighth seed, going up against ninth seeded St. Peters on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in the first round. The winner of that matchup will play first seeded Rider in the quarterfinals on Friday night.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell