Monmouth Falls to Rider 63-60
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Monmouth dropped a 63-60 decision to visiting Rider in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action on Thursday night in the MAC. With the loss, Monmouth falls to 16-14 overall and 12-7 in the MAAC, while Rider improved to 20-10 overall and 14-5 in league play.
Monmouth, which had three players in double-figures led by Justin Robinson’s (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) 15 points and three assists, connected on 18-of-30 from the free throw line, which included 15-for-24 in the second half. Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School) added 12 points and six rebounds, while Zac Tillman (Yeadon, Pa./Shipley School) connected on 4-for-5 from the floor, for 10 points and a career-high eight rebounds.
Rider built a 14-7 advantage with 12:26 remaining on Jimmie Taylor’s lay-in and led by seven, 15-8, with 10:48 showing, before the Hawks used a 7-0 run, capped by Max DiLeo’s (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) three-pointer, to tie the game at 15-15 with 8:27 left.
Consecutive Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) threes gave the Hawks a 21-18 edge at 4:17, before the Broncs used a 7-1 spurt to take a 25-22 lead with 34 seconds showing. Monmouth knotted the score at 25-25 as time expired on the half on Austin Tilghman’s (Wilmington, Del./Archbishop Carroll) trey.
After a pair of Tillman baskets and two Robinson free throws tied the game at 31-31 with 18:28 left, Rider used a 9-0 spurt as part of a 12-2 streak to push its lead to 43-33 with 13:11 showing.
The Broncs increased their advantage to 49-37 at 10:10, before a quick 6-0 run over 1:05 of action for the Hawks, brought the Blue & White within 49-43 with 8:56 left.
Highlighted by trifectas from DiLeo and Robinson, Monmouth climbed within 58-56 with 1:55 on the board, but Rider claimed a 62-59 advantage with seven seconds showing on a Teddy Okereafor free throw.
Following a Monmouth timeout, Rider chose to foul Robinson, who hit one foul shot with 2.5 on the clock and Shawn Valentine gave the Broncs a 63-60 edge with 2.0 seconds showing, while DiLeo’s game-tying attempt missed at the final horn.
Monmouth returns to action on Sunday, March 1 when the Hawks wrap up the regular season by hosting Siena at 4:30 p.m. in the MAC on ESPN3.