Hawks rally to top Fairfield 86-74 (LISTEN)
Micah Seaborn (Fort Worth, TX/Prime Prep Academy) scored a career-high 24 points and Monmouth allowed just 27 second-half points in an 86-74 win over Fairfield at Webster Bank Arena on Monday night. The win moves the Blue and White to 12-4 and 4-1 in conference, while Fairfield falls to 8-8 and 2-4 in league.
“It was a great feeling to have all of our guys back together,” said head coach King Rice. “I thought Sydney Johnson’s team played extremely hard, but tonight we were the better team.”
Monmouth held Fairfield to 27 second-half points, getting four stops to set the tone for a solid half defensively. Trailing by seven at the break, Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston) hit a step-back jumper and Chris Brady (Greenlawn, NY/Harborfields) powered to the rim for a dunk to cut it to three. Fairfield reopened a pair of seven-point leads in the following minutes, but MU answered with five in a row from Seaborn before Je’lon Hornbeak (Arlington, TX/Prime Prep Academy) drilled a right-wing triple to put the Hawks up 54-53 at 13:35. Kevin Degnan immediately answered with a three off the glass but Seaborn netted five more consecutively including a contested three to put the Blue and White up for good at 11:50.
Seaborn stayed hot, banging home another long ball to extend the lead to six. MU’s lead grew to eight when Austin Tilghman (Wilmington, DE/Archbishop Carroll [PA]) attacked at the 9:21 mark, scoring and drawing contact. Collin Stewart (Glenville, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) pulled up and hit from downtown to keep it at eight 40 seconds later before Fairfield cut it back to four on consecutive threes from Curtis Cobb and Marcus Gilbert at the 6:40 mark.
Brady put an exclamation point on with a soaring dunk at 4:44 to put Monmouth up seven, and Robinson and Seaborn made shots on three of four possessions to put away the 12-point victory. Robinson’s jumper in that stretch put the Hawks up 10 with 2:13 remaining, and Seaborn took a great feed from Hornbeak on a 2-on-1 to convert and make the margin 12 with 1:15 to go.
Fairfield took a 47-40 lead at the break after hitting eight threes in the opening 20 minutes. The Stags led by as many as 12 in the period, going up 36-24 at 6:58 on Tyler Nelson’s third straight layup. Josh James hit from beyond the arch to trim it to give but Gilbert hit another triple to knock it back to eight with 20 seconds remaining. Robinson made one free throw before the half to make it 47-40 heading into the locker room.
Seaborn finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting including four threes. Stewart added 15 in his first career start on 5-of-10 and three from deep, and Robinson netted 14, six rebounds and four assists. MU shot 53.2% from the field, 50% from deep on 12-of-24, and 67% from the foul line.
Gilbert led the Stags with 20 and six rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting, while Cobb added 16 and nine boards. Nelson scored 12 and Jerome Segura had six assists as Fairfield shot 50% from the field, 41.4% from downtown and 54.5% from the stripe. MU outscored Fairfield 31-7 off 18 turnovers by the Stags.
The Hawks are back in action Friday night against Iona. Tip is set for 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU.