Men’s Basketball fell to 0-7 on the season after losing 60-57 to the Princeton Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks led by as many as 12 points in the second half but the Tigers won late after hitting three three-pointers in the last three minutes.
“You have to take your hat off to Princeton,” said Head Coach King Rice. “We knew it would be a battle like this and their main dude hits three threes down the stretch. We didn’t get out to him hard enough, he shoots him and they go in so a lot of credit to Princeton. With our team, we keep finding ways to not finish and we’re going to keep working hard.”
In the first half, the Hawks started off strong. After trading baskets in the first minute, Monmouth went on an 8-0 run to take a 10-2 lead. They went into the first media timeout up 10-4.
The Hawks were up by 12 late in the first half with just over a minute left, but Princeton went on a 5-0 run to lower the deficit to only seven points.
The Blue and White went into halftime with a 27-20 lead, their largest halftime lead of the season.
Monmouth was able to hold Princeton to 30 percent shooting in the first half.
The Hawks were up by as many as 12 points twice in the second half, but Princeton went on a 24-11 run to give them their first lead of the night at 52-51 with 3:38 left in the game.
Princeton finished with back-to-back three pointers to reclaim the lead. The Hawks had the chance to bring it to overtime, down by three with the final possession, but they were unable to get a three point shot off.
For the game, junior guard Louie Pillari led the Hawks with 13 points while playing all but two minutes of the game.
Salnave was second with 12 points and Traore and sophomore guard Deion Hammond finished with ten points a piece.
Junior guard Nick Rutherford had nine points and eight rebounds.
The Hawks outrebounded the Tigers, with a 35-27 advantage. Monmouth was also a perfect 8-8 from the foul line in the first half, 20-25 overall.
“I thought we played a lot better today, the kids fought, we’ve been fighting teams and we thought today we might get over the hump but we have to get more together as a group,” said Rice. “If we can get together enough, some things will turn and go our way.”
Next up, Monmouth (0-7) takes on #10/#9 nationally-ranked Kentucky tonight at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. and the game can be seen live on the SEC Network.
The Hawks fell to the Wildcats last year at Madison Square Garden, 93-76.
They then head to Pennsylvania to take on Bucknell on Saturday. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. Monmouth defeated the Bison last year in their home-opener 79-78.
PHOTO TAKEN by Ali Nugent