The Hawks had some tough matchups in the final week of their regular season. They kicked off the week with a matchup against Quinnipiac at the Ocean First Bank Center here in West Long Branch, NJ.
It was a special night for the Hawks as it was senior night. Shavar Reynolds Jr., Marcus McLary, Walker Miller, Nikkei Rutti, George Papas, Samuel Chaput, and Mateo Demoral all suited up for their last home game for the Hawks.
As for the game, the Hawks were without Nikkei Rutti. He started the game but was subbed immediately due to an injury entering the matchup.
The Hawks, unfortunately, started the game slowly as Quinnipiac led the first half 13-2. The Hawks fought back and it was back and forth for most of the first half.
The Hawks got some great minutes from their bench. The starters closed out the half and took the Hawks into the locker room with a four point lead.
Monmouth maintained much of their lead into the second half but the Dezi Jones-led Bobcats pushed back late and at one point cut the lead down to just one. George Papas then came up clutch for the Hawks, sinking two free throws and propelling the Hawks to win 75-72 over the Bobcats.
Both teams shot the ball pretty well, the advantage was the Hawks’ three-point shooting. They shot 39 percent from deep and the Bobcats just 29.
George Papas had a big impact for Monmouth. From three he was four out of 10 and five of 13 from the field.
He finished with 17 points and 8 boards. Shavar Reynolds had himself a night too filling the stat sheet.
He had 17 points, 5 boards, and 6 assists. Walker Miller was the third double-digit scorer for Monmouth with 10 points.
The Hawks then kicked off the week with a nice victory on Senior Night against the Bobcats. Their next matchup was against an in-state rival, the Rider Broncs. This time the Hawks were on the road to wrap up their regular season.
The Hawks started slow with the Broncs taking a 7-2 lead early on in the game and never looked back. They took a double-digit lead into the locker room against the Hawks.
The Broncs stretched the lead to 15 at one point but the Hawks cut the lead all the way down with about seven minutes to go in the game.
Mervin James continued to get buckets for the Broncs, as they took their double-digit lead back to ten and the game ended that way. The Broncs upset the Hawks in the final game of the regular season 74-65.
The Hawks had four double-digit scorers as well, but it wasn’t enough. They ended the season 19-12 and finished in fourth place in the MAAC and their tournament matchup has been set against the Niagara Purple Eagles. Monmouth will face the five seed Niagara on Thursday, March 10 at 9:30 p.m.
The women’s team started this week on Wednesday in a matchup at home against Marist. The Hawks (14-14, 9-10 MAAC) defeated the Red Foxes (8-19, 6-13) 52-44.
Monmouth had been leading by one with a score of 19-18 until they went on a 12-4 surge in the final 5:04 of the game. Belle Kranbuhl had one miss from the field after she shot 9-of-10 for her season-high of 18 points. On top of that, the sophomore not only swatted three shots but racked in seven rebounds.
Finishing with eight points and a game-high of six assists was Stella Clark. Jania Hall and Brianna Livingston shot eight points as well.
The Hawks (14-15, 9-11 MAAC) then faced Sienna (10-18, 10-10 MAAC) where they fell 69-65 at the OceanFirst Bank Center on Saturday afternoon.
It was a hard fought matchup for the Hawks as Siena led by double digits going into the fourth, and that’s when Monmouth started to make Siena nervous. Just when there was 4:15 left in the entire game, Stella Clark scored a three pointer, which caused an 11-5 run. The run lasted until the 16 remaining seconds.
The Saints went to the line and succeeded with a foul shot before Clark shot another three-pointer making it a two-point game of 67-65. In the very final seconds of the game, Siena secured their victory.
Looking ahead, the ladies will face Canisius Tuesday afternoon at Monmouth.