Monmouth Men’s Basketball Team on a 10-Home Win Streak

On Thursday, Feb. 8, Monmouth University’s Men’s Basketball team soared as they earned their tenth consecutive home game win in a game against William & Mary, 68-64. 

In the first two minutes of the first half, Monmouth gained the lead of three with points from forward #2 Jaret Valencia and forward #23 Cornelius Robinson, Jr., At 18:20, William & Mary earned two points from free throws from their forward Gabe Dorsey, who later earned another free throw. 

With the score 3-3, Robinson, Jr., earned two points which William & Mary responded with a good three-pointer. With a two-pointer from guard #21 Xander Rice and a good layup from Robinson, Jr., Monmouth took the lead, 9-6. After a free throw from William & Mary, which brought the score to 9-7, guard #13 Jack Collins bucketed a three-pointer furthering the lead to 12-7. 

At around 14:40 forward #35 Klemen Vuga made a layup that brought the score up 14-7. Throughout the first half, Monmouth remained in the lead by earning points from Rice, Valencia, Collins, guard #3 Jakari Spence, guard #14 Jack Holmstrom, and guard #1 Abdi Bashir, Jr.

Finishing the first half with a 14-point lead, 37-23, Monmouth started strong by earning a point from Valencia with a free throw. As the two teams battled it out on the court, William & Mary tried to shorten the lead, which proved to be unsuccessful. After William & Mary cut the lead to three, the Hawks scored four in a row to restore it to seven. 

The last two minutes kept fans on their toes as William & Mary kept the pressure on Monmouth, closing the Hawk’s lead to four and finishing the game with a final score of 68-64. From dunks to three-pointers, from assists to layups, the Monmouth University Men’s Basketball team rose to the challenge.

This was Monmouth’s first-ever victory over William & Mary. This game was also Robinson, Jr.’s, first career start—in which he scored a career-high 12 points, his first career-high game in double figures this season. Valencia became the seventh Hawk in history to block six or more shots in a game, the most since Monmouth’s center Chris Brady with six back on Jan. 14, 2017. 

Collins earned his 13th double-digit game this season, in addition to Spence earning his sixth double-digit game in his career. Monmouth outshot William & Mary 44% to 33%, and the Hawk’s 11 blocks were the most in a game since St. Francis, NY, on Feb. 3, 2007.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Hawks traveled to Northeastern, where unfortunately, they lost 77-65. In the first half, Monmouth finished 30-40, with points being earned from forward #25 Nikita Konstantynovskyi, Rice, Vuga, Spence, and Valencia. The Hawks went into the second half strong, trimming the Huskies lead to seven with five buckets from Valencia and Konstantynovskyi. The men’s team then launched a 7-0 run, highlighted by Rice’s three free throws that pulled them ahead 47-50. Nevertheless, Northeastern rallied with a 10-0 run to lead by 14. The Huskies kept the lead from the Hawks for the rest of the game, winning 77-65.

This game was Rice’s 100th collegiate start, where he scored 25 points to help earn his 18th time this season scoring 20 or more points in a game. Konstantynovskyi earned his 10th double-figure scoring game this year. Forward #50 Braedan Allen scored his first career points during the final minutes of the game. Monmouth was better in the paint, 48-34, and outshot the Huskies 47%-46%. 

Monmouth University Men’s Basketball team will return home where they will host Campbell on Thursday, Feb. 15.