The Hawks had a busy weekend to kick off the month of February. It started out on Friday night when the Hawks took on the Fairfield Stags at the Ocean First Bank Center with a 7 p.m. tip-off time. The game was pretty much all Monmouth at the start and they really never looked back.
It was a very physical game from the jump as these teams were playing for the second time in a five game stretch. The Stags were on the final game of their three game road trip and the Hawks in the final game of their four game homestand.
George Papas led the way for the hawks as he was knocking down threes all game long. T.J. Long, the freshman for the Stags was on fire as well from the three point line. Teammates, Taj Benning and Jake Wojick, the stars for the Stags, struggled big time. Wojick only scored five points and shot 2-13 from the field. Leading scorer Taj Benning scored only two points on 1-5 shooting from the field. Freshman T.J. Long definitely earned himself more minutes from Coach Jay Young especially with his shooting down the stretch.
As for the hawks in the first half, previously mentioned star guard, George Papas was raining three pointers and he brought the Hawks into the locker room up by five. In the second half Walker Miller picked up the scoring for the Hawks as well as Shavar Reynolds who both finished the game with double-digit points. as Monmouth controlled the game pretty much from the start.
Until there were about five minutes to go when Stags freshman T.J. Long hit a three to give the Stags a 51-50 lead. That three, helped Long total 18 points for Fairfield as he was their leading scorer.
The Hawks crawled back into the game. Papas picked up where he left off in the first half and hit a couple more big shots for Monmouth. He finished with 18 points as well.
When the game clock was expiring, guard Marcus McClary hit the bank three for the hawks to give them the lead 59-56 with .6 seconds remaining. A half-court heave was way short for the Stags and Monmouth got the victory.
As for the Hawks second game of the weekend, they travelled to Hamden, Connecticut on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tipoff against the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
This was the team’s first road game after four straight at home. The Hawks, like the game against Fairfield, pretty much were on cruise control the entire way. They took a 42-32 lead into the locker room and continued their dominance in the second half. The Bobcats fought back but the Hawks were too much. The final score was 76-66, Monmouth.
As for the Bobcats, six man Tyrese Williams was the only scorer in double digits with 14 points. The starters had a rough go against Monmouth’s swarming defense. They struggled as a team big-time, shooting the basketball 22-50 from the field and only 7-23 from three. They just couldn’t keep up with Monmouth as they dropped their third straight game.
Walker Miller led the way for Monmouth against the Bobcats dominating downline with 22 points and 6 boards on 9-17 shooting. It was an excellent game for the forward. All three starting guards for Monmouth also contributed to the scoring as well. They were all in double figures. Papas had 15, McClary had 13, and Reynolds Jr. had 12.
A nice road victory for the Hawks to make it back-to-back wins for them.