Sports

Men's Basketball Suffers Late Season Losses at Home

M Basketball 02.27.19Men’s Basketball dropped down to the middle of the pack in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) after losing back to back home games against Canisius and Quinnipiac, seeing the Hawks fall to 10-20 on the season and 9-8 in conference play.

Friday’s matchup at the OceanFirst Bank Center against Canisius came down to the final seconds with just a couple of plays determining the eventual 59-60 outcome.

The game fittingly fell into the hands of senior center Diago Quinn, who found the basket on a turnaround with less than a minute to go to make it a one-point game.

Friday’s game was Quinn’s 130th of his career, making him just the fourth player in program history to reach such a total as he joined Chris Brady, Austin Tilghman, and Justin Robinson.

Quinn, who tallied 13 points on the night to go along with eight rebounds had an opportunity to win the game following a forced shot clock violation by the Hawks defense. The shot was unable to fall however as the Blue and White suffered the loss in the back and forth affair.

“Congratulations to Canisius,” said Head Coach King Rice. “They played 40 minutes and we did not.”

The Hawks were still able to get three players in double figures including Quinn, with sophomore guard Deion Hammond leading the way yet again with 14 points while junior forward Mustapha Traore tacked on ten points and eight rebounds.

Traore’s performance was the ninth in his career with double figures, seven of which have come this season. It was also the ninth time this year where the forward has tallied eight or more rebounds.

Next on the docket was a quick turnaround for Monmouth who looked to recover from Friday’s nail-biter with Quinnipiac coming to West Long Branch for the home finale and Senior Day on Sunday afternoon.

Monmouth was a step behind from the jump however, as a ten-point deficit at the half was never overcame, leading to the 56-68 loss.

“Credit to Quinnipiac, they’re playing really good ball right now,” said Rice. “I thought the smaller lineup helped us to get back closer but when they’re making shots like that it’s tough.”

The Hawks were unable to get things going offensively as they shot just 35.1 percent from the field with only two scorers achieving double-digits, combining for a mere 22 total points.

Traore was one of the players in double figures yet again with ten points while sophomore guard Marcus McClary led the team in scoring with 12 points and five rebounds.

It was still another career day for the senior Quinn who was honored before the game in a pregame ceremony with fellow senior guard Trevon Gross Jr.

Quinn then went on to tie a career high with three blocked shots in the game which is the highest total by a Hawk this season.

Gross Jr. also made his first career start for Monmouth as he hauled in two rebounds and dished out an assist.

The loss in their home finale makes it a final record of 6-6 in West Long Branch this season for Monmouth, a second consecutive year finishing with this record at the OceanFirst Bank Center.

Next, the Hawks will close out their regular season at Manhattan, a side that currently sits two spots below them in the MAAC standings.

The Blue and White, who are currently seeded in sixth place for the MAAC tournament, will take on the Jaspers on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Draddy Gymnasium in the Bronx, NY.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell