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Sports

Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

MU Track Strives During Storm

Track Dylan CapwellAs storm Jonas was making headlines this weekend, the competitors of Monmouth University’s men’s and women’s track and field teams also made titles for themselves at the NYC Gotham Cup at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island on Saturday, Jan. 23, and the Tiger Open at Princeton University on Sunday, Jan. 24.

 “We had more than two dozen athletes hit their best performance of the season if not their best performance ever at our meets this weekend, “head coach Joseph Compagni said. “That’s what we need, honestly, is to see their work pay off with continued progress and positive results.”

At the NYC Gotham Cup, juniors Andrea Olsen and Tionna Garner both earned qualifying ECAC marks for the 60-meter hurdles and the 400-meter races respectively. Olsen placed second with a time of 8.82, and Garner came in third overall with a time of 55.68.

In addition, senior Sydney Engelberger, junior Ashley Grenger, junior Jessica Ball, and junior Molly McKeon, sped into first place in the women’s distance medley relay with the victory time of 12:14.72. Senior Nina Poccia, a distance runner for MU, remarked on the event, “There were many personal records, (PRs), and good performances all around. There were also many season bests and ECAC qualifications on the women’s team.”

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Women’s Basketball Falls to Iona

Woman Basketball Christina MitchellThe Iona women’s basketball team defeated the Hawks 64-49 Sunday night at the Multipurpose Activity Center.

Senior guards Jasmine Walker and Jasmine McCall came off the bench to lead Monmouth in scoring with nine points each.  Junior forward Christina Mitchell led the team in rebounding with 10 boards while also recording three blocks and three steals.

For Iona, senior forward Joy Adams fronted the charge with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four steals, while junior guard Marina Lizarazu and sophomore guard Philecia Gilmore each netted 13 points.  With the loss, the Hawks fall to 6-12 (4-5 MAAC), while the Gaels improve to 12-9 (8-2 MAAC).

“She’s a great player,” said McCall of Adams.  “She has really good post moves that made her really effective against us.”

In the first quarter, both teams struggled offensively, shooting under 30 percent from the floor and scoring a combined 18 points.  And although Monmouth would take a lead with under two minutes in the half, Iona proceeded to put together a 23-4 run spanning into the beginning of the third quarter—never to trail again.

MU head coach Jenny Palmateer credited the Hawks’ lack of scoring and Iona’s execution for the Gaels’ strong start to the second half.

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Brad Brach Succeeds In Major League Baseball

Brad Brach 1In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles won the American League East with a 96-66 record and advanced to the American League Championship Series. One of the key members of their bullpen was Brad Brach, who pitched for the Hawks from 2005-2008.

“It was pretty much indescribable, I get chills every time I think about it,” Brach said in a phone interview. “It was just one of those experiences that you want to go through again. Once you get to play in [the postseason], you don’t realize how exciting it is; how into every single pitch every single fan and player is. Getting a little bit of a taste of it last year just makes you want to get back.”

Brach recorded the win in game two of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers in his first career postseason appearance. He recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning and Camden Yards went into a frenzy shortly thereafter in a moment he will always remember.

“One moment I will never forget was in Game Two of the ALDS against Detroit. I got the last couple outs and we go back in the dugout. We were down three runs going into the eighth inning and Delmon Young hit a bases clearing double to put us ahead in that game and it wasn’t like we were major leaguers anymore. It was like we were little leaguers playing for the first time ever. Everyone in the dugout was jumping and screaming like little girls. The whole stadium felt like it was shaking and it was just absolutely incredible.”

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Monmouth Basketball Downs Purple Eagles

Justin RobinsonThe Monmouth men’s basketball team defeated the Niagara Purple Eagles 56-42 Sunday afternoon at the Gallagher Center at Niagara University. Redshirt freshman guard Micah Seaborn led the Hawks with 13 points, and senior guard Deon Jones had a solid offensive day with 11 points and six rebounds. Monmouth also received contributions from junior guard Justin Robinson, who had eight points and four rebounds, and freshman forward Diago Quinn, who had six points and three rebounds in his first career start.

Seaborn credited the team’s success to their energy and mindset “Today we knew we had to come out and play the best defense we have played so far and couldn’t have a slow start. I felt the main reason we won was because of the energy we came out with”. Seaborn’s 13 points led all Monmouth players, and was one short of the game high of 14 by Niagara’s Emile Blackman.

The Hawks rattled off eight straight points to begin the game, coming from a Robinson layup, a Seaborn basket, and two fast-break scores from junior guard Je’lon Hornbeak. Monmouth extended their lead to 14-3 halfway through a low-scoring first half. Niagara cut the Monmouth lead to six, but the Hawks responded with a 13-7 scoring run to make the halftime score 27-15.

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Small In Stature Large In Talent: Justin Robinson

MU Purple EaglesJunior guard Justin Robinson has been proving people wrong his entire life. Just look at when the Hawks star player, listed at 5’8”, reflected back after the team’s victory over The University of Southern California in the third place game of the AdvoCare Invitational.

“One incident that I remember was when we were at the Hoop Group. I played pretty well and a coach came up to me and asked if I wanted to play for him. I asked him what school he was from and it was a Division III program. I told him ‘I’m not going to close the door on anything, but I’m hoping to get a Division I offer’ and he kind of laughed in my face. That’s just been my whole life; to prove people wrong and let my play speak.”

Robinson got his Division I offer from Monmouth and made an immediate impact since arriving in West Long Branch in the fall of 2013. He started 25 of the 28 games he played in his freshman year and was named First Team All-MAAC in his sophomore year.

He recently broke Michael Beasley’s record for scoring at the AdvoCare Invitational by scoring 77 points in the three games and took home the tournament’s MVP honors. Head coach King Rice has enjoyed every second of Robinson’s career at Monmouth.

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Monmouth Bench Gains National Fame

MU Bench 1The college basketball season may be young, however Monmouth University has a lot to celebrate. With recent wins over the No. 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the University of Southern California Trojans at the Advocare Invitational basketball tournament over Thanksgiving, the team has gained the nation’s attention. However, the team’s most noise has been coming from their own bench rather than their fan base.

“I didn’t expect us to go viral but it is great publicity for a great university,” said junior forward Greg Noack, one fourth of the famed Monmouth Bench.

The Bench, led by sophomore guard Dan Pillari, includes freshman guards Louie Pillari and Tyler Robinson along with injured Noack. Throughout the televised tournament, the Bench has been bringing an energy to the court that may just be what this team needs to continue their success.

Their celebrations have gone viral, featured on Instagram and Twitter accounts such as ESPN, Barstool Sports and CBS College Basketball, along with various recognition from athletes such as Frank Kaminsky III of the Charlotte Hornets literally calling the Monmouth Bench his spirit animal. The choreographed Hawks will put on routines on the bench to support their teammates whenever it is needed.

“It helps the school shed light to a very good and very special basketball team and I am very proud to be a part of it,” said Dan Pillari.

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Women’s Basketball Dismantles Niagara

The women’s basketball defeated Niagara University 83-60 Sunday afternoon in West Long Branch, NJ. Senior guard Jamiyah Bethune scored a team-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds and four assists. Monmouth also received double-digit points from junior guard Tyese Purvis (13) and senior guard Sarah Olson (16). Junior forward Christina Mitchell also contributed nine points and seven rebounds. It is the first conference win for Monmouth in the young season.

Olson was on fire from three-point range, make five of 11 shots from beyond the arch, accounting for 15 of her 16 points. “I think it was just a matter of her not getting rushed,” Head Coach Jenny Palmateer said after the game. “Our players did a great job finding her and getting her the ball when she needed it”. Olson had one of her best games of the season, adding two rebounds, two assists, and two steals to her 16 points.

Olson credited her success to the team’s overall morale and performance, “The team’s energy was unbelievable this morning and before the game. We were all on the same page and ready to go. We said let’s pick it up, it’s conference play and it’s now or never.’” The team as a whole scored 83 points, which is their highest total scored in a non-overtime game.

Monmouth opened the game red hot, shooting 52.9 percent from the field in the first quarter. Monmouth forced nine Niagara turnovers in the first quarter, and capitalized by scoring nine points off of those turnovers. The Hawks did not stop there, as they opened up a 41-32 lead at halftime. Bethune and Olson each had ten points at the half, while Niagara was guided all throughout the first half by sophomore forward Kaylee Stroemple, who led all scorers with 12 points.

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Women’s Basketball Pick Up Two Losses Over Break

Women Basketball 1 2015After losing a close game in overtime to Lehigh University a week earlier, the upstart Monmouth women’s basketball fell to Robert Morris University 60-47 in the 2015 home opener. The Hawks got off to a slow start, scoring only two points in the first 4:40 of the game, shooting 1-6 (17 percent) from the field. Senior guard Jasmine Walker hit for three sparking the Hawks offense, who went on a 5-0 scoring run to cut the Colonials’ lead to 1. Robert Morris countered with a 6-0 scoring run of their own to close out the quarter, making it 18-11 after the first.

The Colonials opened the second quarter on another quick 7-0 run, building their largest lead of the night before forcing the Hawks to call timeout. Monmouth began to turn on their press defense, which forced multiple Colonial turnovers. The Hawks were unable to capitalize, suffering from another extended scoring drought, this one lasting 5:42. A three pointer from sophomore forward Dana Carbone and a layup from senior guard Jamiyah Bethune cut the deficit to 9 points at halftime for Monmouth.

The Hawks received a major boost from their defense, which kept them in the game despite shooting 27 percent from the field in the first half. Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmateer was pleased with her team’s efforts in the new style “I love it, I think it is going to be our bread and butter. The hard part is that we have to score to get in it, so we have to become more efficient offensively so that we can really get in fully.” The Hawks only scored 20 points in the first half, led by Walker who contributed five points.

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Providence Enjoys Home Court Advantage, Defeats MU 71-59

Women Basketball 2 2015The women’s basketball team fell to Providence this past Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall to a tune of 71-59. Junior guard Tyese Purvis and sophomore forward Dana Carbone netted a collective 24 points for MU. Senior guard Jasmine Walker earned 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night while seniors Jamiyah Bethune and Sarah Olson each tabbed eight. The loss puts the Blue and White at 1-3 so far this season.

“We have been in some tough games, two going to overtime, and each one has helped us prepare for what we will face in conference play,” said Head Coach Jenny Palmateer. “Our record reflects a challenging non-conference schedule that is designed to help us achieve our season goals.

The Hawks opened up scoring, snagging six of the first eight points scored. MU held its lead until the eighth minute of play, when the Friars broke the tie, making it 13-10. Providence’s Jovana ‘Yoyo’ Nogic and Erica Meyer contributed to the Friar lead until Olsen added a three-pointer for the Hawks. The first quarter ended in favor of the Friars, 16-13.

Walker was put on the line in the first minute of the second quarter, finishing both shots for MU. But Providence responded with the next seven points. With just over seven minutes left in the half the Hawks were down 15-23. Sarah Beal put in a layup and a pair of foul shots to cushion the Friars’ lead. The clock dropped under a minute and MU was trailing 25-34 when Purvis brought some life back to the Hawks. Her three-pointer closed the gap and the half, making it 34-28.

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Men’s Basketball Stuns Nation

Men Basketball 2015The Monmouth men’s basketball team returns home from the Advocare Invitational with two huge wins over no. 17 Notre Dame and University of Southern California. Their only loss throughout the tournament was to Dayton during the semi-finals. The tournament, presented by ESPN, was a weekend long event beginning Thursday, Nov. 26 and ending Sunday, Nov. 29.

The first game began with high energy as the Hawks defeated no. 17 Notre Dame for their first battle of the weekend. Not only was this the first time in Hawk history that blue and white defeated a Top 25 ranked team but the win also marked the 900th total victory in Monmouth basketball.

“This was an extremely exciting moment for our kids and our program. Our kids played hard, believed in each other and just weren’t going to be denied tonight. When you believe in each other, anything can happen,”  said Head Coach King Rice on the victory over Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish fell to the Hawks as Monmouth got the ball with 32 seconds remaining and tied the score at 68-68. Junior guard, Justin Robinson killed time on the clock right before driving to the right side of the basket and drawing a foul from Notre Dame’s Jackson. Robinson connected both free throws with 3.6 seconds to make the final score 70-68 and the Hawks nation shocking upset.

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Football Downs Gardner-Webb 23-9 in Final Game of Season

The Hawks completed their second season of Big South football on a high note as they topped the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb on Nov. 21 by a score of 23-9.

MU opened the scoring on their first drive as redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Williams completed a second and one pass to junior wide receiver Darren Ambush for a 49 yard touchdown to cap a quick five play, 80 yard drive and put the Hawks up early 7-0. Monmouth scored again two drives later on a two yard run by junior running back Zack Welch giving them a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Gardner-Webb added the only points to the board in the second quarter, a 35 yard field goal by sophomore kicker Paul Schumacher that capped an 18 play, 56 yard drive but the Hawks had the lead going into halftime, 14-3.

Schumacher added two more field goals in the Runnin’ Bulldogs first two drives of the second half, but the Hawks answered with a big play of their own as Williams threw a strike in the end zone to redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie White Jr. after a fourth down conversion for 36 yards and a 21-9 MU advantage. Monmouth recorded a safety in the fourth quarter as sophomore kicker/punter Matt White was able to pin the Gardner-Webb offense at their own two yard line and freshman linebacker Tre Nelson recorded a sack in the end zone for the safety, adding two more points to the board. Senior cornerback Joe Johnson recorded the game-sealing interception on the second-to-last play of the game.

“It was a great way to end the season, to finish third in the Big South in only our second season says a lot about our players,” Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan said. “Today was a terrific defensive effort. There were a number of times we were backed up deep in our own territory and we held them to field goals or forced a fourth down stop. I’m very happy with the way the kids played and kept rising to the occasion.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu