– Behind near double-double games from both senior Ed Waite
(Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Pine Crest) and sophomore Andrew Nicholas
(Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York), the Monmouth University men’s basketball won its fourth straight game, posting a 77-65 victory at Binghamton in the Events Center on Monday night.
Monmouth, now 5-3 on the season, has won four straight games for the first time in head coach King Rice
’s career with the Hawks, and forced 21 turnovers, which turned into 32 points. The Hawks, who have forced 20+ turnovers in seven of their first eight games, also hit 12-of-14 from the free throw line.
Waite, who tallied a career-high 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor, added nine rebounds and two assists to pace the Hawks, while Nicholas notched his fifth straight double-digit scoring outing with 19 points and a career-best eight rebounds to go along with five steals and three assists.
Rice stated, "I am very happy for my kids and the way they competed. That was our first road win, which are hard to come by, especially against an improving Binghamton team that Tommy Dempsey coaches. I am so happy that we got this done. I got to be in front of my mom, our hometown, my high school coaches and everyone. This was a great win for the Monmouth Hawks."
Four points from Waite and consecutive fast break baskets from Nicholas gave Monmouth an 8-4 lead at 16:26, before the Bearcats responded with a 9-2 spurt over 2:46 to claim a 13-10 advantage following Jordan Reed’s jump shot at 12:10. The Hawks battled back to claim a 16-15 edge following baskets from Waite and Nicholas, while Stephen Spinella
’s (Colts Neck, N.J./Apex Academy) three-pointer from the top of the key put MU ahead 21-20 with 8:03 showing.Christian White
(Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) drained a trey to push the Hawks in front 26-22 with 6:57 remaining, while Waite contributed seven straight points to give Monmouth a 33-26 advantage with 1:41 left. After a Reed basket halted the 7-0 run by the Hawks, White drilled a short jumper and Jesse Steele
(Milford, N.J./Oak Hill Academy) connected on a three-pointer as time expired to give the Blue and White a 38-28 lead at the break.
The Bearcats raced out the locker room with a 9-2 spurt, which included six points from Reed, to pull within 40-37 at 17:59, forcing MU to call timeout. The Hawks responded with an 8-0 run to claim a 48-37 edge, and inflated the streak to 17-4 over a four-minute span to take a 57-41 lead after five straight points from Gary Cox
Following another basket from Cox, Monmouth pushed its run to 20-6 to coral a 60-43 advantage with 10:00 showing, but Jimmy Gray’s wing trifecta pulled Binghamton within 62-50 with 8:08 left.
The Hawks reclaimed a 17-point edge on Nicholas’ three-pointer at 6:40, 69-52, while Steele’s short floater at 2:34 held the 17-point lead at 75-58.
Monmouth shot 51.7% from the field for the game, including 15-for-27 in the second half, while outscoring the Bearcats 42-28 in the paint.
Monmouth returns to action on Wednesday, when the Hawks host Navy in the MAC at 7:00 p.m.