Monmouth’s men’s basketball team battled to take a late lead but ultimately fell to Manhattan at Draddy Gymnasium Thursday night, 78-71. MU is now 14-5 and 6-2 in conference, while Manhattan moves to 7-10 and 5-4 in the league.

Listen to the game broadcast at the end of this report

“Towards the end of the game we got back to the game plan and got ourselves back in it,” said head coach King Rice. “We didn’t finish. A lot of credit goes to Steve Masiello’s team.”

Monmouth came back late in the contest after trailing by nine multiple times in the second half. MU led by as many as four on Micah Seaborn’s (Fort Worth, TX/Prime Prep Academy) elbow pull-up with 3:13 remaining before back-to-back Manhattan baskets tied it. With 1:57 to go, Robinson grabbed an offensive board and fed Chris Brady (Greenlawn, NY/Harborfields), who went up-and-in, plus the foul. After the play, both Brady and Manhattan’s Zane Waterman received technical fouls, disqualifying Waterman. After a missed Brady foul shot, Shane Richards hit a wing triple on the next possession, and after Calvin Crawford hit one-of-two from the line, Thomas Capuano hit a corner three to put the Jaspers up five and they would go on to win by seven.

Down by six with 6:56 remaining, Monmouth went on a 7-0 run to take the lead. Deon Jones (Wilmington, DE/Sanford School [Towson] put one in before Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston) pulled up and drilled a three in transition to cut it to one. Robinson drove on the next trip and was fouled, hitting both to put MU up with 5:17 left.

Manhattan led by as many as nine and between five and nine for the first 5:34 of the half. Waterman hit a three 57 seconds into the period to put them up nine, and they went back up by that margin on a Richards trey with 15:28 to play. Collin Stewart (Glenville, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) hit a three to trim it to four, but Crawford answered right back from downtown to extend the Jaspers lead back to seven. Monmouth cut it back to four at 8:03 on Brady foul shots and again on a Brady dunk at 7:35 before the Hawks made the late run.

Manhattan took a 36-30 lead into the locker room, leading by as many as seven in the half on a Crawford take with 2:05 showing. Just prior to that, Monmouth held a three-point lead on a Zac Tillman (Yeadon, PA/Shipley School) basket and Jones free throw. Monmouth jumped out to a 12-2 lead on triples from Seaborn and Jones and a Brady dunk. MU continued to lead, going up 19-10 at 12:45 of the first on a Hornbeak jumper. Manhattan went on a 10-0 run to go up 20-19 before the Jaspers eventually took a six-point lead at the break.

Brady led Monmouth with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while Jones had 14 and eight boards. Robinson added 11 as well as seven assists and six rebounds. Monmouth shot 44.8% from the field while Manhattan was 47.3% from the floor, led by Crawford with 20 points, Rich Williams with 15 and RaShawn Stores with 14. Williams pitched in seven rebounds and Stores added six assists.

The Hawks are back in action on Sunday afternoon at home against Marist. Tip is set for 2:00 p.m. on ESPN3.