Rutgers Edges Monmouth at the Buzzer 59-58
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Rutgers needed a jump shot from senior Myles Mack at the buzzer to escape Monmouth with a 59-58 victory over the Hawks on Sunday afternoon in front of a sell-out crowd in the MAC.
Monmouth, which got double-digit efforts from Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Sanford School) and Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston), falls to 5-7 overall, while the Scarlet Knights improve to 8-5.
The game was broadcast on ESPN3, Monmouth’s first school-produced ESPN3 product.
Robinson, who scored eight of his 13 points in the second half, tied the game at 57-57 with 54 seconds left on his floater in the lane, and gave the Blue & White a 58-57 edge with 5.6 ticks showing following a free throw. Following a timeout, Mack raced down the court and pulled up to hit the game-winning shot as time expired as the Scarlet Knights escaped with the road victory.
“I am very proud of our kids. I thought we fought for 40 minutes, but their senior came down and hit a big-time shot to end the game,” stated head coach King Rice. “It was a very even, entertaining game and the crowd was incredible. We have to keep working to get better so we can have our crowd be like this all of the time.”
Robinson added a game-high six assists, to go along with four rebounds and zero turnovers in 32 minutes of action, while Jones contributed a team-high 14 points and three steals. Josh James (Greenburgh, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) tallied nine points and a career-high seven rebounds, while Brice Kofane (Yaounde, Cameroon/Miller School/Providence) notched six points, six rebounds and two blocked shots for the Hawks.
Kofane’s baseline jumper gave Monmouth a 36-29 advantage with 17:15 remaining, while a Jones trey put the Hawks in front 41-35 with 15:13 showing. The Knights climbed within 44-43 on a Mike Williams’ three-pointer with 10:56 left, but hoops from Jones and Kofane gave Monmouth a 51-45 lead at 8:15.
After a Robinson jumper at 5:02 gave the Hawks a 55-52 edge, RU responded with the next five points, capped by a Mack three-pointer, to claim a 57-55 lead with 2:04 remaining.
Robinson’s three-pointer put Monmouth in front 5-2, while James connected on his own triple to give the Hawks a 10-5 advantage with 16:36 left. After Chris Brady’s (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) short jumper doubled up the Scarlet Knights 14-7, Andrew Nicholas’ (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) trey with 11:22 on the clock, gave MU a 19-12 lead.
Rutgers answered with an 8-2 run to get within 21-20 with 7:11 remaining, before Collin Stewart’s (Glenville, N.Y./Mekeel Christian Academy) traditional three-point play, followed by another Brady jumper, pushed Monmouth ahead 26-20 at 6:05.
RU responded with a 9-1 spurt to claim a 29-27 advantage with 1:45 showing on Williams’ three-point play, but behind a Jones’ jump shot and Robinson’s drive as time expired, the Hawks grabbed a 31-29 lead at the intermission.
Monmouth connected on 40.4% (21-52) from the field, and out-rebounded Rutgers 35-32. The Scarlet Knights connected on 40.7% (24-59) from the floor and turned 14 offensive rebounds in 20 second-chance points.
Mack led all scorers with 16 points, to go along with five rebounds and four assists, while Bishop Daniels added 12 points and five assists off the bench, and Kadeem Jack recorded 11 points for the Scarlet Knights.
Monmouth, which led for 33:43 of the game against the Big Ten Scarlet Knights, returns to action on Friday, January 2 when the Hawks travel to Canisius College in Buffalo, New York for a match-up of a pair of 2-0 MAAC teams in Koessler Arena, at 7:00 p.m.
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