POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Trailing by 10 with 5:47 left, Monmouth University rallied to get within 72-71 with 7.3 seconds left, but ultimately fell at Marist College 75-73 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action on Thursday night in McCann Arena. Monmouth, which had three players score in double-figures, falls to 10-12 overall and 4-7 in MAAC play.
Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School/Towson) led the Blue & White with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Max DiLeo (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) and Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) added 10 points each. Tyrone O'Garro (Newark, N.J./Saint Peter's Prep) tallied seven points and 11 rebounds for Monmouth, which posted a 41-31 edge on the boards, and held a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint.
"I thought we fought really hard tonight, but we are playing too much in stretches and not with consistency throughout the whole game. I think that's a sign of our youth," said head coach King Rice. "This team is getting better daily and I like the direction we are headed."
Trailing 47-37 just 1:10 into the second half, the Hawks put together a 14-4 run to tie the game at 51-51 with 11:56 showing following five straight points from Kahlil Brown (Queens, N.Y./Westwind Academy). The Red Foxes responded with a 15-5 streak to grab a 66-56 lead with 5:47 showing.
A pair of Nicholas free throws with 35.7 left pulled MU within 70-67 and the Hawks followed with a steal and an O'Garro lay-in, which made the tally 70-69 with 29.6 left, before Manny Thomas hit two foul shots at 28.1 to give Marist a 72-69 edge.
Following an MU timeout, DiLeo was fouled and hit both shots to get the Hawks within one, but Chavaughn Lewis and Thomas combined for three free throws to put MC ahead 75-71 with 4.0 left. DiLeo was fouled on a three-point attempt with 0.4 remaining, hit the first two to get the Hawks within 75-73, but the tip off the intentional miss was unsuccessful for the Hawks.
Monmouth grabbed a 16-11 lead at 13:49 behind consecutive Collin Stewart (Glenville, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy) three-pointers, and after Marist knotted the game at 16-16 with 12:37 showing, the Hawks rattled off an 11-0 run over 2:01 of action to haul in a 27-16 advantage at 10:19, which was highlighted by back-to-back break away slams from O’Garro and DiLeo.
The Red Foxes answered with a 17-5 run to take their first lead of the game, 33-32 on a pair of Lewis free throws with 5:14 left, and increased their streak to 27-7 over the final 9:40 of play, to hold a 43-34 lead at the intermission, as T.J. Curry hit a three-pointer for Marist with three seconds left.
Chris Brady (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) added six points and a season-high seven rebounds for the Hawks who hit 41.0% (25-61) from the field, but 16-of-27 (59.3%) from the line.
Lewis led all scorers with 24 points, while Khallid Hart added 17 for Marist (7-14, 4-7 MAAC), which hit 20-of-25 free throws, and 11-of-26 from three-point range.
Monmouth returns to action on Monday, February 3 when the Hawks host defending MAAC Champion Iona in the MAC at 7:00 p.m.
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