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Men’s Basketball Season Tip Off

Men’s Basketball started their regular season by losing three games to Lehigh, Colgate, and St. Joseph’s, respectively.

Their latest loss came at the hands of the St. Joseph’s Hawks, with a 78-63 loss on Monday night.

Monmouth was within six at halftime, but in the second half St. Joseph’s scored 49 points to have the 15 point victory.

“This was our best game so far this year, we competed the whole time,” said Head Coach King Rice. “You have to take your hat off to those kids because they really stepped up for them. But I told our kids, this was our best game, we fought hard and Saint Joe’s is tough.”

For Monmouth, they shot 65 percent in the second half, compared to only 32 percent in the first.

Monmouth’s overall field goal percentage was better than St. Joseph’s (48 percent to 41 percent). The key difference was 13 second-chance points for St. Joseph’s to only two for Monmouth.

Sophomore guard Ray Salnave led the team with 14 points, with junior forward Mustapha Traore and sophomore guard Deion Hammond close behind with 12 points each.

On Friday, the Hawks lost to Colgate 87-74 despite going into halftime with a one point lead.

Colgate scored 53 points in the second half compared to 39 from Monmouth.

“Obviously we’re very disappointed,” Rice said. “I thought we played a lot better today than we did the other day. I thought we competed much harder. This one’s going to take a little time for us to get together and really, really stay together and figure out what combinations work the best.”

Salnave led the team with 16 points, Hammond was second with 14. Junior guard Louie Pillari was the third player in double-digits with ten points.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the Hawks opened up the season with a home match against Lehigh.

Monmouth lost 85-61 in a game where they were outscored in both halves.

“Very tough night for us tonight, we just couldn’t guard them at all and I didn’t think we played with enough intensity on the defensive end,” Rice said. “I thought we’d be more settled after the half but coming out in the 2nd we just didn’t have it.”

Hammond scored a team-high 21 points in the season-opener, his second-career 20 point game. No other Hawks scored more than six points in the contest.

Next up, Monmouth heads down south as they are set to play three games in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

The first game will be against West Virginia on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. After that, they will play either Valparaiso or Western Kentucky on Friday.

The third match-up will be one of UCF, St. Joseph’s, Wake Forest, or Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.