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A look at Monmouth Basketball Over the Past Few Weeks

As we return back to campus from winter break, Men’s and Women’s Basketball have been on the run. The Men played six games traveling as far as Oklahoma to face the Sooners while the Women played five games, winning four out of five. 

The Women’s team returned back to the Ocean First Bank center on Jan. 19 to face Elon after an exciting win down at the College of Charleston, where Monmouth won by 13 points to secure their second win in a row. The Hawks came in hot with a multitude of runs throughout the game; at one point in the third quarter, they led by as much as twenty two. Monmouth held the Cougars to 29.7% shooting from the field while they finished the game strong, shooting 43.3% from the field. Senior guard Ariana Vanderhoop led the Hawks with 15 points, scoring in double figures for the seventh time this season. 

With great efforts from Monmouth both offensively and defensively, they were able to hand the Cougars their first CAA and first home loss of the season. 

The Hawks unfortunately could not keep the winning streak when they returned home and fell just short to Elon, 60-65. After the Hawks trailed 8-6 in the first, they went on a 13-2 run, taking a 19-10 lead with just under two minutes to go in the first. 

Monmouth scored the first ten points in the second, five of those from Ariana Vanderhoop. Both teams battled it out with efforts from Kaci Donovan and Elon’s Vanesssa Taylor, but Monmouth was able to keep them under control in the last few minutes of the half and went into halftime with a 37-30 lead. 

Monmouth took the largest lead of the game, 44-32, in the third quarter with a 7-0 run. Elon went on a 8-0 run that turned to a 17-2 run, giving Elon a 49-46 lead at the end of the third quarter. 

Elon led by five to start the fourth until Taisha Exanor sunk a three to make it a two-point game 53-51 with 7:23 left on the clock. Elon took their lead back before Donovan would make a three with 1:46 to go, but unfortunately Monmouth was not able to secure the win in the end. 

Monmouth Women’s basketball face Hampton on Friday, Jan. 26. 

After an unfortunate three-game losing streak on the road, the Men’s team returned home to face Hampton in an exciting 85-77 win. Four Hawks scored in double figures to lead Monmouth to their seventh win in a row at home. In the last 5:24 of the game, Monmouth hit five threes to secure their win over Hampton. 

In the opening half,  Hampton led by as many as five points, but Monmouth saw five different Hawks score on a 18-6 run, putting Monmouth up 31-24 with 4:41 left in the first. The Hawks finished the first half up by two.

Efforts from Jakari Spence allowed Monmouth to lead by six early in the second half, but Hampton returned the favor on a run of their own. It was a back and forth battle, with Hampton up five, until Abdi Bashir, Jr. hit his first three of the half to cut the deficit to two. Hampton continued to fight back and found themselves up six before the final timeout. Xander Rice responded with a triple of his own, which led to another Bashir three, tying the game with 3:23 left to play. Bashir continued his streak with his third three in a row, putting the Hawks up one. Hampton took the lead once more, but not for long. Rice put the Hawks up with another three, and Cornelius Robinson, Jr. secured the win with a three of his own from the corner. The Hawks were now up seven with 35 seconds left in regulation. Rice exceeded the 20-point mark for the 15th time this season, Spence matched his season high with 11 points, and Bashir posted his third career game in double figures. 

Monmouth Men’s basketball hit the road again to face Stony Brook on Thursday, Jan. 25.