MU Basketball Faces CAA Tournament

On Mar. 9, Monmouth Men’s Basketball went up against the Campbell Camels in the second round of the CAA tournament where they won with a final score of 90-67, winning their seventh opening game of the conference tournament under Head Coach King Rice.

Forward #25 Nikita Konstantynovskyi led the Hawks with 15 points, while guard #3 Jakari Spence trailed right behind him, matching his career best 14 points. This was Spence’s sixth game this year in double-digits. Forward #02 Jaret Valencia netted 13 points, as well as guard #13 Jack Collins who marked his third career best double-double as well as career-best six assists.

The Hawks led for the final 27:58 to ultimately move onto the CAA quarterfinals.
Mar. 10 at 12:00pm the Hawks fought for their spot in the semifinals but were unfortunately defeated to the top-seeded College of Charleston. This was Monmouth’s first time advancing to the CAA quarterfinals.

A back and forth battle with runs from both teams left the game squared at 11:25 in the first. Charleston took control with a 15-1 run and led 44-29 at the half.

To open up the second half, Monmouth had an early 18-4 run to cut the deficit to seven after trailing by 21. The Cougars returned the favor with a 14-0 run to regain their lead and win, 83-59.
Guard #21 Xander Rice and forward #02 Jaret Valencia scored in double figures against the Cougars, with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

After winning the CAA Championship last season, the Monmouth Women’s basketball team fought until the very end but lost by two in the CAA Quarterfinals against #7 Drexel.

Drexel closed the first quarter with a 19-10 lead after a tied game, 7-7. The second quarter saw runs from both teams but Amaris Baker for the Dragons scored the final four of the period to lead Drexel into the half by nine points.

The Dragons extended their lead after halftime to 13 but a pair of three pointers from guard #9 Rosalie Mercille and guard #01 Ariana Vanderhoop cut their lead to four, 49-45. The two teams exchanged points until Monmouth hit seven of the next nine points to cut the deficit to two with 2:59 left to play.

With 56 seconds left in the game, a block from guard #3 Sandrine Clesca led to a fast break bucket from forward #2 Taisha Exanor to tie the game 56-56.

Drexel’s Grace O’Neill hit the game winning shot with 34 seconds left on the clock to win 58-56.
Guard #01 Ariana Vanderhoop marked her eighth straight game scoring in double figures as she led the Hawks with 16 points.

Guard #20 Jania Hall, forward #2 Taisha Exanor, and center #24 Belle Kranbuhl all finished with eight or more points, while Exanor additionally posted three of the six blocks recorded in this game.

The Hawks are scheduled to face University of Buffalo on Mar. 21 in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).