WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Monmouth University registered its largest win of the season, and held Binghamton to a season-low offensive output, as the Hawks posted a 74-46 victory over the Bearcats in non-conference action in the MAC on Saturday night. Monmouth, which limited Binghamton to three second half field goals, built a 30-point lead late in the second, en route to its second straight win, while improving to 5-6 overall with the home victory.
"It was really a grow-up game today," stated head coach King Rice, a Binghamton-native. "We started off kind of slow and our defense didn't have the energy that we like to have. I am proud of these guys because at the end of the first half and the start of the second half our defense really ramped up. We started getting some transition baskets, then kids got comfortable, and we started making some shots. It was a good defensive effort for the Hawks tonight."
Trailing 25-21 with 3:56 left in the first half, Monmouth ended the stanza on a 14-2 spurt to lead 35-27 at the break, and increased its run to 20-2 out of the locker room to lead 41-27 following four straight points from Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School/Towson) with 17:33 left.
After Yosef Yacob’s three-pointer pulled Binghamton within 41-30 with 17:05 showing, the Hawks, highlighted by a Jones and Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) three-pointer, and Max DiLeo’s (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) alley-oop slam, put together a 14-2 run to lead 55-32 with 11:44 showing.
Jalen Palm’s (Lexington, Kent./Butler Traditional) three-pointer pushed the Blue & White in front 62-36 with 7:22 remaining, while a late 8-0 spurt, six of which came from Collin Stewart (Glenville, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy), put MU ahead 74-44 with 54.4 seconds left.
Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) and Stewart led the Hawks with 13 points apiece, which was a career-high for Stewart, while Josh James (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) added 12 points. Jones chipped in eight points, as 11 different players scored for MU, while Tyrone O'Garro (Newark, N.J./Saint Peter's Prep) added seven points and six rebounds, and Robinson notched six points and five assists.
A pair of O’Garro slams highlighted Monmouth’s path to a 10-6 lead with 11:57 left, while James hit a three-pointer with 10:40 remaining to give the Hawks a 13-9 lead. The Bearcats answered with a 7-0 run to claim a 16-13 edge at 7:11, before Stewart’s first career trey knotted the game at 16-16 with 6:59 left.
Binghamton pushed its lead to 20-16 just 1:14 later and held a 25-21 lead following Yosef Yacob’s three-point play with 3:56 showing.
Monmouth, which netted three points on five of its last six scoring trips of the half, climbed within 25-24 on an O’Garro three-point play, while treys from James, Robinson and Nicholas over a 1:23 span, gave the Blue & White a 35-27 advantage at the break.
The Hawks connected on 44.4% (28-63) from the field, including 48.4% in the second half, while the Blue & White held BU to just 3-of-22 (13.6%) in the second stanza and 26.1% (12-46) overall on the night. Monmouth, which tied a season-low with seven turnovers, forced 16, which turned into 16 Hawk points, and matched a season-best with 11 made three-point field goals, as MU connected on 7-of-15 three-pointers in the first half.
Jordan Reed paced BU with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Monmouth returns to action next Saturday, December 21 when the Hawks host Fordham University in non-conference action in the MAC, at 2:00 p.m.
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