WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Despite four Hawks scoring in double-figures, the Monmouth University men's basketball team fell to Quinnipiac University 94-77 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action on Saturday afternoon in the Multipurpose Activity Center. Freshman guard Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) paced the Hawks with 15 points and six assists, as Monmouth fell to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in league play.
"I take my hat off to Coach Moore and Quinnipiac, who made it a very tough night for us tonight," said head coach King Rice. "We have to go back to the drawing board. We have some time to get our kids back to playing the way we were before the break."
Robinson, who scored in double-digits for the sixth time this season, added three rebounds and two steals, while connecting on 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Junior Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School/Towson) hit 5-of-9 from the field for 14 points and three assists, while freshman Josh James (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) notched 12 points and three assists and junior Max DiLeo (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) hit 4-of-5 from the floor, including a pair of three-pointers, for 10 points and four boards.
Robinson's three-point play pulled Monmouth within 4-3 early and after a pair of freshman Zac Tillman (Yeadon, Pa./Shipley School) post moves had the Hawks within 8-7 at 16:40, the Bobcats rattled off a 19-6 run over the next 7:14 of play to take a 27-13 lead with 9:26 left.
Monmouth used a 9-2 spurt to close within 32-26 on Jones’ drive with 5:35 showing, and after the Bobcats regained a 38-30 advantage, the Hawks scored eight straight over a 1:27 of action to knot the contest at 38-38, capped by DiLeo’s fast break dunk.
Quinnipiac scored the last seven points of the half over the final 2:20, including five points from the free throw line, to grab a 45-38 advantage at the break.
A 15-7 run for the Bobcats to open the second half pushed the QU advantage to 60-45 with 16:23 on the clock, and Quinnipiac inflated its edge to a game-high 23 points, 72-49, with 13:20 left.
Monmouth hit 47.6% (30-63) from the floor for the game, but was outrebounded 45-24, surrendering a season-high 20 offensive rebounds, which culminated in 20 second chance points for Quinnipiac (7-5, 2-1 MAAC).
Ike Azotam led all scorers with 24 points and 16 rebounds, as five Bobcats reached double-figures, including Umar Shannon, who added 23 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. QU hit 50.0% (30-60) from the field and went 27-of-35 from the free throw line, compared to MU's 13-of-18 from the stripe.
Monmouth returns to action on Friday, January 10 when the Hawks make a first-ever trip to Niagara University in MAAC action. Tip at the Gallagher Center is set for 7:00 p.m.
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