– The Monmouth University men’s basketball team fell to 7-12 overall and 2-4 in the Northeast Conference on Saturday afternoon, as the Hawks fell at LIU Brooklyn 75-65 in the Wellness Center. Playing without injured starters Andrew Nicholas
and Khalil Brown
, senior Jesse Steele
netted his fourth straight double-digit effort with a team-high 16 points and seven assists.
LIU (8-10, 3-3 NEC), which trailed by six at the half, shot 58.3% (14-24) and hit 6-of-10 from beyond the arc in the second half, was led by C.J. Garner’s 16 points and five assists.
Freshman Christian White
, in his first career start, connected on 3-for-4 three-point attempts for a career high 13 points, while Stephen Spinella
(career-high eight rebounds), Dion Nesmith
and Marcus Ware
added eight points each.
After falling behind 5-0 early, the Hawks rattled off a 7-0 run, capped by Steele’s three-pointer off a feed from Spinella at 17:44. MU built its lead to 13-8 on Spinella’s corner jump shot, and held a 19-12 advantage on Max DiLeo
’s tip-in with 8:35 showing.
The Blackbirds climbed within a pair before White drilled a corner three-pointer and Gary Cox
connected on two free throws with 6:33 left, to give the Hawks a 24-17 edge.
An 8-0 spurt over a two-minute span by LIU gave the Blackbirds a 25-24 lead with 4:03 left following consecutive Booker Hucks three-pointers, but an 8-1 streak, where six points came from the charity stripe, had Monmouth back in front 32-26 with 1:25 showing.
Following a Jason Brickman corner trey at 1:08, Nesmith’s drive and Spinella’s offensive putback as time expired punctuated a 4-1 spurt to end the stanza, and give the Hawks a 36-30 edge at halftime.
The Blackbirds raced out of the break with a 9-2 run to reclaim the lead 39-38 on Garner’s three-pointer, and LIU extended its streak to 15-4 to take a 45-40 advantage with 13:30 showing.
Steele’s three-pointer pulled MU within 45-43, before five straight points from Brandon Thompson gave the Blackbirds a 50-43 lead with 11:57 left.
A pair of Ed Waite
post moves, coupled with Nesmith’s putback, pulled MU within 50-49 with 9:14 remaining, but LIU responded with a 12-2 run over 3:11 of action to haul in a 62-51 edge at 4:54.
White drained two more three-pointers in a 26-second span to make the score 71-63 with 43 ticks left.
Monmouth, which was 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the first half, finished 14-of-15 from the stripe.
Monmouth returns to action on Thursday, January 24, when the Hawks host Garden State rival Fairleigh Dickinson in an NEC contest in the MAC at 7:00 p.m.
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