It was a busy last week of February for the Hawks. They had 3 matchups against some of the best teams in the MAAC. They had a home game during the week against Siena and a home matchup with Jersey rivals, Saint Peters. It is an extremely important week as the Hawks are about to face opponents above them in the MAAC standings and the tournament in Atlantic City.
The first game of the week for the Hawks was their lone home matchup on Tuesday night against the Siena Saints. The Hawks had a solid first half, and the Saints seemed to have their game on the bus.
The Hawks took a nice lead into the locker room as they were up 34-19. The Hawks shot 40 percent in the first half but the Saints only shot 21 percent. It was a low-scoring half with a lot of good defense being played and missed contested shots.
The second half was the exact opposite. The Saints improved their field goal percentage from 21 percent to 41 percent.
The Hawks shot efficiently in the second half as well with a 46 percent field goal percentage. And although the Saints kept pace in the second half, the Hawks were too much in the first. The week started off with a nice 71-59 win.
The starting five for the Hawks was stellar. Center Nikkei Rutti grabbed 19 rebounds and had 4 blocks to go along with it.
The three leading scorers were all in double digits as well. Papas had 18 and led the way, Walker Miller had 15 and Shavar Reynolds had 12.
It was a nice start to a busy week for the Hawks. Let’s shift gears to Friday’s matchup now where the Hawks faced their in-state rival the Saint Peter’s Peacocks at home again in the Ocean First Bank Center.
Monmouth unfortunately started slow but they shot the basketball pretty well. As for Saint Peters though they could not miss. They shot 48 percent in the first half and took a solid lead into the locker room up seven points with the score being 35-28.
As for the Peacocks, they continued their excellent shooting in the second half when they shot 48 percent yet again. The Hawks improved and shot 46 percent but it was too little too late ultimately.
As the Peacock’s first half was too much, they picked up a win against their in-state rivals. The final score was 70-65 with the Peacocks picking up the victory.
The Peacocks were led by KC Ndefo who had a nice double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Matthew Lee and Daryl Banks II were also in double digits with Lee having 12 and Banks racking in 10. Sixth man, Doug Edert gave the Peacocks a nice boost off the bench with double-digit points as well finishing with 10.
The week for the Hawks wrapped up with a matchup in Albany, New York against Siena for the second time this week.
If you look at the stat sheet, the Hawks shot the basketball really well and they did. They shot especially well early in the first half when they shot 46 percent from the field.
As for the Saints, they only shot 36 percent. Despite this, Siena went into the locker room with a two point lead. How? They dominated the Hawks on the glass.
The Saints continued to dominate on the glass in the second half as well. The Hawks shot 46 percent and the Saints only improved to shooting 39 percent.
The game was won on the glass. The Saints outrebounded the Hawks 43-26.
This led to many second-chance points for them. In the second half, they expanded their lead and got the victory this time against the Hawks 37-28.
The Saints were led by Colby Rodgers who had a nice bounce-back performance with 26 points. He struggled immensely in the first matchup of the week. Three other starters for the Saints, Nick Hopkins, Jackson Stormo, and Anthony Gaines, all notched 12 points as well.
It was a tough week of matchups for the Hawks and unfortunately, they only finished 1-2. They now sit in fourth place in the MAAC.
This will be important come tournament time. The Hawks have a couple of days of much-needed rest as they look to close out their last week of the season strong. They face Quinnipiac on Thursday night at the Ocean First Bank Center for Senior Night and Rider Saturday to end the regular season.