Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston) and Collin Stewart (Glenville, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) combined for 35 points and Monmouth led for nearly 38 minutes as the Hawks beat Saint Peter’s 73-57 at The MAC Saturday night. Monmouth improves to 17-5 overall, 9-2 in the MAAC and 6-0 at home while Saint Peter’s is now 8-11 and 6-4 in the league.

“Our defense is getting tougher and our kids are believing on the defensive end,” said head coach King Rice. “That’s going to help us down the stretch.”

For the second straight game, Monmouth’s largest lead came at the final buzzer, with MU up by 16. The Hawks went on a 6-0 run after Saint Peter’s cut it to five with 14:48 to go, getting a Zac Tillman (Yeadon, PA/Shipley School) turnaround ahead of a Robinson runner and an Austin Tilghman (Wilmington, DE/Archbishop Carroll [PA]) take to the rim to put Monmouth up 11 with 12:18 to play.

Rodney Hawkins cut the Monmouth lead back to eight with a triple before Stewart nailed his fourth long ball of the night. Stewart would later knock in two foul shots and Diago Quinn (New York, NY/Lake Forest Academy [IL]) converted another to extend the lead to 13. Je’lon Hornbeak (Arlington, TX/Grace Prep [Oklahoma]) put home a contested triple with 8:41 remaining to make it 56-43 Hawks.

The Peacocks fought back to trim the deficit to five three separate times, the last with 5:25 to play on a Quadir Welton layup. Robinson responded with seven straight, including a three and a teardrop in the lane to push the gap from five to 12 with 2:09 to play. MU made four late free throws to win by 16.

Stewart and Hornbeak hit threes on two straight possessions to put the Hawks up 20-12 in the early going, a lead Monmouth held until the half. Tilghman found a crease and finished at 10:39, and a Quinn dunk off a great feed to the middle from Deon Jones (Wilmington, DE/Sanford School [Towson]) put the Hawks out ahead by nine. Robinson knocked down a triple, Stewart took a Robinson feed after a steal and threw down a breakaway dunk, and Tilghman muscled inside to bump Monmouth’s lead to 15 at 3:59 of the first. SPU trimmed it to 11 before the break where the Hawks led 36-25.

Robinson scored 18 with six assists on 7-14 shooting, while Stewart hit a career-high four triples to finish with 17 points and four boards. Jones added seven blocks, and Tilghman was a perfect four-for-four with eight points and four caroms. Tillman pitched in six boards. MU shot 47.2% from the floor, 40% from deep and 81.3% from the stripe while holding SPU to 40.4% FG, 33.3% from range and outscoring the Peacocks bench 41-10.

Welton netted 16 points and grabbed 11 boards for Saint Peter’s, while Antwon Portley scored 10. Trevis Wyche added eight points and seven assists.

Monmouth is back in action Monday night with a 7:00 p.m. tip at Siena.