Robinson Leads Monmouth Past Iona 92-89
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Justin Robinson’s (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) career-high 25 points, led four Hawks in double-figures, as Monmouth defeated Iona 92-89 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action in the MAC on Sunday afternoon.
Robinson, who added four assists, three rebounds and two steals, played 34 minutes and connected on 8-of-11 from the floor, including three three-pointers, as the Hawks improve to 4-4 overall and 2-0 in the MAAC.
Monmouth, which shot over 50.0% from the floor for the third time this year, connected on 52.4% (33-63) and went 7-for-16 from beyond the arc. Joining Robinson in double-digits were Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School) with a season-best 18 points, Max DiLeo (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson), who tallied a season-high 12 points in his first career start to go along with five steals, and Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York), who added 11 points.
“I am very proud of our kids and their effort,” stated head coach King Rice. “I am happy that the crowd was there to sit behind us and support us the whole time. But I have been saying that our team is growing up and today was a big grow-up day. We played very, very well in the first half, but know Iona was going to make a strong run but we were fortunate enough to do enough down the stretch, and make our free throws and come out with the win.”
Chris Brady (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) notched eight points and five rebounds for Monmouth, while Brice Kofane (Yaounde, Cameroon/Miller School/Providence) chipped in six points and nine boards and Collin Stewart (Glenville, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy) added five points and a career-high five assists.
Trailing by six early, Monmouth used a 20-8 run to go in front 25-19 with 6:35 left in the first half on DiLeo’s three-pointer. Paced by a Robinson three and Stewart’s three-point play, the Hawks extended their lead to 44-31 with 2:02 showing, and held a 48-40 edge at the break.
After a Kofane basket in the lane opened the scoring in the second half, and Jones’ three-point play put the Blue & White ahead 53-43 with 18:44 left, the Gaels climbed all the way within 64-63 on a Schadrac Casimir triple with 13:05 on the clock.
Monmouth quickly pushed the lead back to six behind a Brady dunk and a Nicholas three, but a 10-2 spurt from Iona in a 3:02 span reclaimed the lead for the Gaels, 73-71, with 8:15 left.
Another Nicholas trey and DiLeo’s steal and slam in transition gave Monmouth a 76-73 advantage with 7:34 left, before a 12-6 Iona streak, capped by Isaiah Williams’ three-pointer put the Gaels in front 85-82 with 4:24 remaining.
Monmouth scored the next eight points, Jones and Robinson with four apiece, to put the Hawks back in front 90-85 with 13.0 seconds left following a pair of Robinson foul shots, before the Blue & White tallied the three-point victory.
In a game that featured 10 lead changes and nine ties, Iona connected on 15 three-pointers (53.6%) and hit 30-of-60 from the floor. Monmouth outscored the Gaels 42-26 in the paint and held a 34-28 edge in rebounding, while dishing out a season-high 19 assists.
Monmouth (3-4 overall) returns to action on Wednesday, December 10 when the Hawks travel to Fordham University for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference game with the Rams.
*GAME BROADCAST AUDIO COMING MONDAY*