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Robinson scored a season-high 15 points at St. John's in the opening game of the Barclays Center Classic in Carnesecca Arena
Courtesy: MU Photo by Jim Reme


Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
Release: November 23, 2013
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QUEENS, N.Y. - Monmouth University, which led 40-38 on freshman Justin Robinson's (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) three-pointer from the top of the key with 14:15 remaining, and trailed 54-51 following a Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School/Towson) jumper, fell late at St. John's in Carnesecca Arena on Friday night in its first game of the 2013 Barclays Center Classic, presented by Continental Tire.

The Hawks (1-3), who got a career-high 15 points from Robinson and a career-best 12 rebounds from sophomore Tyrone O'Garro (Newark, N.J./Saint Peter's Prep) outrebounded the Red Storm 44-35 and held a 32-16 edge in points in the paint.

“I am very proud of our team tonight. We battled and outrebounded a Big East school, and our freshmen grew up tremendously tonight,” stated head coach King Rice. “We got beat by a bigger, stronger St. John’s team that made some big plays down the stretch. I love these guys and I can’t wait to get back to work.”

After Jones drained a jumper from the top of the key to pull the Hawks within 54-51 with 3:19 left to play, D'Angelo Harrison drilled a three 19 seconds later, while Phil Greene IV connected on a corner trifecta following  an offensive rebound with 1:04 showing to give St. John's a 62-54 advantage.

After Robinson’s drive gave the Hawks a 4-2 lead at 16:22, the Red Storm answered with a 9-0 run to grab an 11-4 edge following Greene IV’s three-pointer with 15:02 left. Robinson’s floater in the lane cut the deficit to 11-6 before SJU grabbed its largest lead of the stanza, 14-6 with 14:26 showing on a Max Hooper trey.

A 10-2 streak from the Hawks over 4:43 of action, which culminated in consecutive O’Garro baskets, knotted the score at 16-16 with 8:59 left, while back-to-back Zac Tillman (Yeadon, Pa./Shipley School) hoops tied the game at 22-22 with 6:09 remaining.

Following Orlando Sanchez’s three-pointer from the wing at 5:05, which gave the Red Storm a 25-22 cushion, Max DiLeo’s (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) fast break lay-up trimmed the SJU lead to 25-24 with 4:23 left, while a pair of Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) free throws with 4.6 showing provided the half time score of 28-26.

Monmouth tied the score at 28-28  out of the intermission on Nicholas' floater in the lane and took a 37-36 lead on a Jones second-chance lay-in with 15:13 remaining. After Robinson's three-pointer gave the Blue & White a two-point edge with 14:15 showing, the Red Storm rattled of a 12-1 run to take a 50-41 lead at the 7:05 mark.

In a game that featured seven ties and six lead changes, the Hawks connected on 33.9% (20-59) from the floor, and 54.5% (12-22) from the free throw  line. Nicholas added nine points, while DiLeo notched seven points and three rebounds, while O'Garro registered four points, and freshman Tillman posted four points and five rebounds. Jones, who played just five minutes in the first half after being called for two quick fouls, finished with nine points and six rebounds.

St. John's, which entered the game with six three-point makes in its first three games overall, went 8-for-21 from beyond the arc, and was led by Greene IV's 22 points and eight rebounds. Harrison notched 15 points, behind three three-pointers, while JaKarr Sampson posted a 14-point, nine-rebound effort and Chris Obekpa added four points, five rebounds and nine blocked shots. for the Red Storm (3-1).

Monmouth returns to action on Tuesday, November 26, when the Hawks travel to Penn State University for their second contest in the Barclays Center Classic. Tip off in the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 6:00 p.m., on the Big Ten Network.

Additional Monmouth Head Coach King Rice quotes:

… On outrebounding St. John’s
I’m proud of my kids. When I looked at that [rebounds], I didn’t think it would be by 9. I thought we were doing a great job on the boards. We were trying to limit them to one chance. Steve [Lavin] put together a really athletic, talented team. Later in the season, they are going to be better. It feels great to come on their floor, especially with their athleticism and to outrebound them.

… On St. John’s 3-point shooting performance
It happened late, when one of their best players knocks down two [3 pointers], ‘okay he’s a big time kid’. I watched him in high school, I know what he can do, and it’s amazing that Coach Lavin got him off the west coast. The kid is a baller and he stepped up and got it done for them. If he doesn’t make those two, the other ones probably don’t go in. That kept the cushion big enough for them to stay comfortable and make shots down the stretch.

… On the Monmouth team’s effort this evening
We’re a very young team, but we’re a team that is getting better every single game. We took some giant steps today, my big man Zac [Tillman] is going against a guy that is probably the best shot-blocker in the country and he had his best game tonight. My other big man Marcelo [Ruediger] really battled, I’m just proud of them because those kids were in high school last year and hadn’t even started practice. My two young guards are tremendous, Justin [Robinson] and Josh [James], we’re going to continue to work and continue get better.

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