Men’s basketball falls to Cal State Fullerton 87-63 in the final game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational to finish 0-3 in the tournament and 0-6 in the season.
“Tough weekend for us, tough start to the season for us. Our kids are really fragile right now,” Head Coach King Rice said. “We’re just trying to do small things. We lost the first half by 30 and won the second half by six. We’ve got to try to fund small things we can hang our hat on. We’re not believing in each other and we need to work hard to try to turn it around. Some of it, we hung our heads before the game. Guys are fragile right now.”
In the first, CSF started off with a bang. Cal State started the game with a 9-0 run before sophomore guard Deion Hammond hit a three to get Monmouth on the board. Fullerton went to a double-digit lead only 4:27 into the game, with them leading 14-3. At the end of the half, Cal State went on a 15-2 run, with them going into the half leading 52-22 and their largest lead of the first half. Monmouth was out shot from the field (64-20 percent) and from three (69-11 percent). The Hawks were 1-9 from deep.
In the second half, Monmouth changed things up with going with a two forward look rather than a four guard and one forward lineup. The results stayed in the favor for CSF. Fullerton’s lead was as high as 35 midway through the second half after a pair of free throws, making the score 76-41. The Hawks would bring the deficient to as low as 23 on a pair of sophomore guard Melik Martin free throws. One of the lone bright spots of the game was that Monmouth was able to outscore CSF in the second half, 41-35.
For the Hawks, Hammond led the way with 15 points. Junior forward Sam Ibiezugbe had a career-high 11 points, all coming in the second half. Martin had 11 points while shooting 3-4 from the field. The 24 point loss ties the worst of the season, the other being the 85-61 loss to Lehigh on opening night.
Next up, Monmouth (0-6) returns home to play Princeton on Saturday, Nov. 24. Tip-off is at 3:00 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESTY of Willis Glasgow