Junior guard Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston) scored 25 points and added seven assists while Deon Jones (Wilmington, DE/Sanford School [Towson]) pitched in a double-double as Monmouth’s men’s basketball team led for just shy of 39 of the 40 minutes in an 81-66 win over Canisius at The MAC Monday night. The win improves Monmouth to 10-4 on the year and 2-1 in conference, while the Griffs fall to 7-7 overall and 2-2 in league.

“They showed who they were today,” said head coach King Rice. “They came out and they were dedicated to defense. I’m so proud of my kids, proud of the way they responded, proud of the way they fought, and proud of the way they represented Monmouth University.”

Monmouth used a 14-0 first-half run to take a double-digit lead and didn’t look back, only allowing Canisius to get within single-digits once the rest of the game. MU led 5-4 at the 17:58 mark when Josh James (Greenburgh, NY/Archbishop Stepinac) and Micah Seaborn (Fort Worth, TX/Prime Prep Academy) connected on drives ahead of a Jones baseline push to make it 11-4. The run continued with a left-baseline take from Collin Stewart (Glenville, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) and a putback from Diago Quinn (New York, NY/Lake Forest Academy [IL]). Jones capped the run with four in a row, including two foul shots and the Hawks led 19-4 at the 13:43 mark of the opening half. The lead grew to as many as 16 in the first half, doing so on a Stewart three-point play after a dunk with 6:10 remaining in the half.

After Canisius cut the deficit down to eight with 2:04 to play in the stanza on a Kassius Robertson three, MU ended the period on a 6-0 spurt to lead by 14 at the half. Robinson darted to the rim to score, and Jones tipped in a miss on the fast break with 31 seconds left. MU forced a tie-up at half court resulting in a Malcolm McMillan travel, and Chris Brady (Greenlawn, NY/Harborfields) followed a Robinson take at the buzzer with a tip-slam to make it 41-27 Monmouth at the half.

Monmouth led by as many as 20 in the second half, doing so during a three-point barrage started with Robinson hitting one at the 12:08 mark. Stewart then drained two in 29 seconds after entering less than 40 seconds prior. MU took a 21-point lead four times in the half, including once on Stewart’s third triple at 7:38 to make it 70-49. Robinson put the Hawks up 77-56 at 5:41 with a trey en route to the 15-point win.

The second half opened with Robinson drilling a three after stepping left around a defender to give MU a 17-point lead with 17:35 left. A Phil Valenti jumper at 16:07 cut the Monmouth lead to 10 before Seaborn hung in the air on an acrobatic shot down the left baseline and finished two possessions later to make it a 14-point Monmouth lead. Robertson hit back-to-back shots to trim the deficit back to 10 but Zac Tillman (Yeadon, PA/Shipley School) made a nice catch and left-handed dunk to bump it back to 12.

Monmouth got 25 points, seven assists and three rebounds from Robinson, who was 9-18 from the floor and made three triples. Jones added his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Brady grabbed 10 boards and Stewart got into double-figures with 14 for the seventh time this year. The Hawks shot 54.2% from the field, 44.4% from downtown and 75% from the stripe while Canisius went 32.2% on field goals, 25% from deep and 63.6% from the charity stripe.

Four Griffs scored into double figures, led by 15 from Jermaine Crumpton on 5-8 shooting. McMillan added 13 and four rebounds, while Robertson scored 12 and Valenti netted 10. The Blue and White outscored Canisius in the paint 48-20 and 17-2 on the fast break. MU trailed for just 15 seconds, doing so in the first 90 seconds of the game.

Monmouth is back on the floor on Saturday afternoon at The MAC with a 2:00 p.m. tip set against Quinnipiac on ESPN3.