WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.
– Despite another 17-point effort from Jesse Steele
(Milford, N.J./Oak Hill Academy), the Monmouth University men’s basketball team fell to Robert Morris in Northeast Conference action in the MAC, 70-55, on Saturday night. The Hawks, who fell to 6-11 overall and 1-3 in the NEC, got a second-straight 17-point night from Steele, while sophomore Andrew Nicholas
(Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Colonials, who have won two straight in the NEC to improve to 2-2 in the league, stands at 10-7 overall, as Lucky Jones paced three players in double-figures with 18 points and eight boards.
Five quick points from Steele gave the Hawks a 5-4 lead at 16:00, while Nicholas’ fast break slam put MU ahead 7-5 with 13:21 showing. The Colonials, who trailed 9-7 at 12:11 following a pair of Ed Waite
(Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Pine Crest) free throws, answered with a 7-0 spurt, as part of a 22-8 run as RMU claimed a 29-17 advantage on Mike McFadden’s dunk with 1:02 left in the half.
After Stephen Spinella
’s (Colts Neck, N.J./Apex Academy) foul shot trimmed the deficit to 29-18, the Hawks climbed within 29-21 out of a timeout with 1.5 ticks left in the stanza, as Steele drilled a deep wing three-pointer as time expired.
The Colonials, who finished the first half on a 22-12 run, opened the second stanza on a 10-3 streak, capped by Jones’ three-pointer to put Robert Morris ahead 39-24 with 15:32 left. Following hoops from Marcus Ware
(Vineland, N.J./Vineland) and Nicholas, the Hawks pulled within 39-28, but behind two straight treys, the Colonials netted the next eight points to haul in a 47-28 advantage at 10:10.
On Jones’ three-point play, RMU grabbed a 51-30 lead with 9:02 showing, before a Dion Nesmith
(Union, N.J./Union) three-pointer and a pair of Nicholas free throws made the tally 55-39 with 6:41 remaining. Consecutive three-point trips from Nicholas and Steele trimmed the deficit to 61-47 with 4:47 left, but Karvel Anderson’s traditional three-point play put the Colonials ahead 64-47 at 4:11.
Baskets from Ware and Khalil Brown
(South Orange, N.J./Westwind Academy) pulled the Hawks within 64-51 at the 2:00 mark.
Coron Williams, who had three second half trifectas, added 14 points and six rebounds, while McFadden chipped in 12 points and seven caroms. Russell Johnson added seven points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Colonials, who hit seven three-pointers and outrebounded the Hawks 44-31.
Monmouth returns to action on Thursday, January 17, when the Hawks travel to St. Francis Brooklyn for an NEC contest with the Terriers in the Pope Athletic Center, at 7:00 p.m.
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