On Thursday we embarked on a seven-hour bus ride to Buffalo, NY for the Canisius-Niagara trip, and were bundled up preparing for the cold. We were just getting used to the 80 degree days in Los Angeles and Orlando when the schedule threw us a curveball. Coming off a hot Thanksgiving break, we knew teams were circling us on their schedules and giving us their best performances.

Canisius 96, Monmouth 86

We definitely got Canisius’ best game. They hit 16 three-pointers, which was hard to come back from. Even though we battled and played hard for spurts, it wasn’t enough to cool off the hot-handed Griffins. When you become a team that was immediately placed under a national spotlight, it’s easy to get caught up in things. Sometimes a painful loss is enough to reinstall that competitive edge and motivation that is needed to achieve the goal that was set previously. With a day of solid practice and sight-seeing in-between games, we were confident we could turn things back around on Sunday against the Purple Eagles of Niagara.

Monmouth 56, Niagara 42

On Sunday, our defense was back to what it should be. Players are active, getting steals in the passing lane, and causing shots to be missed because we contested shots with a purpose. We know that if we get stops on defense, the offense will come. We have more than enough guys that can score, and score very efficiently, so we know we can get buckets when we need to, but it all starts on defense. Things are looking good and we’re all in high spirits coming back to West Long Branch and excited to have our first home game next Sunday, December 13. Pack the MAC!

Story by Greg Noack