Sports

Men’s Basketball Stuns First Place Long Island

Ends Regular Season with 106-78 Thumping of LIU-Brooklyn


mbb stuns first place long islandThe men’s basketball team finished the regular season with two big home wins against St. Francis (N.Y.) and Long Island University – Brooklyn. The Hawks finish the season as the sixth seed in the Northeast Conference (NEC) and will face Robert Morris in the first round of the conference tournament.

Monmouth (12-19, 10-8) has won nine of its last 12 games and is on the right track heading into the NEC tournament.

Jesse Steele scored 18 points and Dion Nesmith added 15 as Monmouth defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) 79-73 Thursday night.

“We are playing our best basketball right now,” said Monmouth’s Head Coach King Rice after Thursday’s win. “One more game and then it’s the conference tournament.”

The Terriers (15-14, 12-6) led 36-18 following a Stefan Perunicic three-point basket with 5:57 remaining in the first half. From here, Monmouth went on a 34-9 run over the next 14:06 to surge ahead 53-45. During the run, Steele scored eight points and Marcus Ware added seven. Andrew Nicholas scored seven of the Hawks’ final nine points during the game-changing stretch.

Ben Mockford led St. Francis (N.Y.) with 16 points. Jalen Cannon tallied a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

At the end of the night, the Hawks were tied with Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut State for fifth in the NEC.
Mike Myers Keitt scored 20 points and Nicholas added 18 as Monmouth defeated LIU-Brooklyn 106-78 Saturday night.

Monmouth scored more than 100 points in a game for the first time since 1997. They scored 102 points in an overtime matchup against LIU Brooklyn in Boylan Gym.

106 points was the most points ever scored by a basketball team in the MAC, since it opened in 2009.

The Blue and White jumped out to a 19-4 lead over the NEC’s top seeded Blackbirds (22-8, 16-2) on senior night. LIU-Brooklyn responded with an 18-0 run to take a 22-19 first half lead.

The teams went back-and-forth until C.J. Garner committed a technical foul in a 54-51 Hawks lead game in the second half. From here the Monmouth lead slowly started to grow, and before you knew it, the Blue and White were ahead 103-73 and the students were chanting, “UP-BY-THIR-TY!”

“It was just a special type of feeling that I got inside,” said Myers Keitt about the final minutes of senior night. “When I came off of the court for that final minute I was just so proud of my coaches, my teammates and of the Monmouth community and the support that they showed us tonight.”

Julian Boyd led the Blackbirds with 17 points and Jason Brickman added 16. Garner scored 10 points and led the team with six assists.

Steele and Nesmith both scored in double figures, combining for 25 points. Austin Tillotson shot five for five from the field for 10 points.

Senior Will Campbell was honored Saturday night and displayed his talents in front the crowd. Campbell scored 14 points on six of nine shooting and grabbed a couple rebounds. Senior center Phill Wait tallied six points and six rebounds.

“Tonight our seniors took the energy of our great, great fans, came out and played as well as I’ve seen them play,” said Rice.

Robert Morris (22-9, 13-5) swept the Blue and White this season. In the first matchup in Pennsylvania, RMU handled the Hawks 69-51. When the Colonials came to the MAC, they won 81-73 in overtime.

Velton Jones gave MU nightmares following the game in West Long Branch. Jones shot 50 percent from the field, including six of 11 from three-point land, and dropped 35 points in the overtime thriller.

The Hawks are the hottest team in the NEC and look to continue the success Thursday night when they travel to RMU.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography