Hawks Fly Past Niagara 66-50
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Monmouth University moved to 4-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action with its third league road win behind a 66-50 victory over Niagara University on Sunday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
The Hawks, who have held four opponents to 50 points or less this season, even their record at 7-7 overall.
“I am very excited for my team and the program,” said head coach King Rice, following Monmouth’s sweep of the Western, New York trip. “This is a tough road trip and our kids really responded. I am happy for them. Now we are ready to get back to work, so we can continue to be a surprise to everybody.”
Monmouth’s defense, which held the Purple Eagles to just 27.8% (15-of-54) shooting from the field, connected on 47.9% (23-of-48), while dishing out 12 assists and outrebounding Niagara 36-35.
Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) led the Blue & White with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists, while Collin Stewart (Glenville, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy) notched 12 points. Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School) added eight points and seven boards, while Max DiLeo (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) notched eight points and three assists and Brice Kofane (Yaounde, Cameroon/Miller School/Providence) registered seven points and eight rebounds for the Hawks.
Monmouth opened a 9-2 lead at 16:55 as DiLeo’s three-pointer put the Hawks ahead by seven, but a 17-7 run by the Purple Eagles over nearly 12 minutes of play gave Niagara a 19-16 advantage with 4:45 left in the half. Ignited by consecutive corner three-pointers from DiLeo and Stewart, the Hawks reclaimed a 22-19 advantage with 3:33 showing.
After four straight from the Purple Eagles gave Niagara a 23-22 edge on two Dominique Reid free throws, Monmouth ended the half on a 7-0 spurt over the final 2:09 to haul in a 29-23 lead at the intermission. In the streak, Robinson hit a pair from the line, Stewart drilled his second three-pointer and Zac Tillman (Yeadon, Pa./Shipley School) put the Hawks up six with his post move with 46 ticks on the board.
The Hawks, who scored the last seven of the first half, posted the first four from Robinson of the second stanza to claim a 33-23 advantage with 18:25 left. Monmouth, which held NU without a field goal for 5:40 of action, built a 12-point edge, 52-40 with 7:21 showing, following a Kofane three-point play off an offensive rebound and two Robinson free throws.
Ignited by a Stewart dunk, the Hawks strung together a 14-2 run over a 4:45 span to hold a 59-42 lead with 3:51 after a Jones’ three-point play, while Ba’shawn Mickens’ (Summit, N.J./Summit) first career three-pointer accounted for the final tally.
Monmouth returns to action on Friday, January 9 when the Hawks host Quinnipiac University in the MAC on ESPN3 in a 7:00 p.m. MAAC contest.
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