BUFFALO, N.Y. – Monmouth University freshmen Josh James (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) and Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) combined for 27 points, but the Hawks dropped to 8-9 overall and 2-4 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play with an 87-67 loss at Canisius College on Sunday afternoon at the Koessler Athletic Center.
James hit 5-of-8 from the floor for 16 points, his seventh double-figure game this season, and added six rebounds and two assists, while Robinson notched 11 points and two assists.
"I am proud of my team today. I thought we fought hard, but we ran into a veteran team in their building, that played extremely well today," said head coach King Rice. "You have to give Coach Barron and Canisius a lot of credit. I thought our kids really grew up even though we didn't come put on top. I thought they continued to fight as hard as you could when you're down as many as we were. It's just another notch in our belt for growing up."
After Robinson’s drive pulled Monmouth within 5-4 with 16:20, the Golden Griffins rattled off a 9-0 run to grab a 14-4 lead at 13:41 and increased their advantage to 19-8 on Billy Baron’s three-point play, capping a 14-4 streak, with 10:55 remaining.
The Hawks answered with a 7-0 spurt over 2:10 of action to climb within 19-15 on Robinson’s pull-up three-pointer with 8:25 showing. The Blue & White pulled within 27-22 with 5:15 left on James’ trey and got within 30-25 on freshman Chris Brady’s (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) offensive rebound and short hook at 3:15.
Canisius, which connected on three trifectas in the final 1:33 of the half, hauled in a 39-29 lead at the break on Zach Lewis’ wing three as time expired.
The Griffs pushed the lead to 15, 49-34, on Barron's three-pointer, and held a 58-41 advantage with 11:17 left on Jordan Heath's three-point play.
Lewis, who hit 7-of-10 three-pointers, gave Canisius its largest lead 80-54 with 4:20 remaining with a triple.
Barron led all scorers with 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Canisius (11-6, 5-1 MAAC), while Lewis hit for a career-high of 25 points.
Monmouth returns to action on Thursday, January 16 when the Hawks travel to Quinnipiac University for a MAAC contest at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.
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