Monmouth Weekend Preview
The Hawks return home tonight to resume Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play when they take on Fairfield University at 7:00pm in The MAC on ESPN3. Monmouth comes in to the game off a thrilling, come-from-behind, last-second win over first place Canisius, 83-82 last Sunday. Junior Andrew Nicholas hit a game-winning three-pointer with one second left for the win, and the play earned MU it’s third appearance this season on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 on Sunday night.
MU is 9-10 on the season and 3-5 in MAAC play, which places them in a four-way tie for sixth in the league standings. Fairfield is in last place in the league with an overall record of 4-15 and 1-7 in the conference, although their lone MAAC win was over second-place and preseason favorite Manhattan on January 18.
Nicholas is the team’s top three-point shooter, averaging just over two long-range jumpers per game. He is averaging 14.2 points per game overall, second only to Deon Jones’ 15.6 scoring average. The two student-athletes are also the two Hawks scoring in double-figures in conference play with Jones netting 14.0 points per MAAC game and Nicholas pouring in 12.5 per conference contest.
A very talented sophomore class leads the way for second-year head coach Sydney Johnson, the former Princeton head man. Marcus Gilbert is the player to watch for Fairfield as he leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game and paced them with 16 points in their last contest at Fairfield. Amadou Sidibe is the team’s top rebounder at 6.0 caroms per contest, as he raised his average with nine rebounds against Belmont. Gilbert and Sidibe are two of the projected five sophomores to start tonight, along with former Monsignor Donovan standout Sean Grennan, who transferred to Fairfield from Seton Hall two years ago.
On Sunday, the Hawks pay in-state and Hourglass rival Rider a visit. MU fell to the Broncs, 89-83 back on December 5, and Rider is playing well good basketball, owning a 4-2 record at home.
This week should feature two good games for MU, which continues to play well with a very young roster. Eddy Occhipinti and Matt Harmon will have the call live from The MAC on Thursday night at 6:45pm, while Sunday’s broadcast is set to begin at 1:45pm.