Monmouth holds off Broncs, 74-69
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Kealen Washington-Ives (Providence, RI/Classical/Putnam Science) led five Broncs in double figures with his first-career double-double, but the Rider University men’s basketball team fell to hOURglass rival Monmouth, 74-69, Monday night at Alumni Gymnasium. With the loss, the Broncs fall to 13-12 (6-8 MAAC), while the league-leading Hawks improve to 20-5 (12-2 MAAC) with their 10th straight win. Six of the 10 Broncs to suit up this season have now compiled a double-double.
Washington-Ives finished with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists without committing a turnover. Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian [Southern Miss]) scored a team-high 17 points and added eight rebounds, while Kahlil Thomas added 15 points and seven rebounds in 24 foul-plagued minutes. Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) and Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) added 10 points apiece. Tyere Marshall (Philadelphia, PA/Martin Luther King/Putnam Science) also chipped in with six points and six rebounds.
“This is the best game he’s played since he’s been here, start to finish,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett of Washington-Ives. “If he can continue to play like this and build on this and when Stevie gets back, we’re a better team for it. I was proud of what he got done tonight. He competed. 10 assists. I’m not even worried about the points. He did a good job finding guys and stayed in front of Justin for the most part.”
Reigning MAAC Player of the Year Justin Robinson led Monmouth with 25 points and six rebounds, while Chris Brady posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Je’lon Hornbeak struggled from the floor but made 8-of-11 free throws to finish with 15 points to go along with six rebounds.
“I thought the team that showed up tonight was our team that normally shows up. Some poor execution down the stretch, some bad shots. But, all in all, if we play like this, we’ll be fine,” said Baggett. “I expect this group to be able to compete with Monmouth’s and the guys at the top of the league because I know we have the talent to do it.”
A back-and-forth first half ended with Monmouth leading, 32-28. The Broncs took an early 4-0 lead, before the Hawks countered with eight-straight. The Broncs retook a 17-15 lead on consecutive buckets from Marshall, before Monmouth went on a 10-0 run to take a 25-17 lead with 5:27 left in the period. Brady scored the final six points in the spurt, the final four on putbacks. Rider countered with seven-straight points on a Carey three-point play and consecutive Lundy buckets. Louie Pillari’s dunk off a broken play gave Monmouth a 32-28 lead at the half.
Lundy led the Broncs with seven points at the half, while Thomas and Marshall added six points apiece. Thomas added five rebounds in eight minutes before departing with three personal fouls. Marshall also had four rebounds, while Washington-Ives had four assists. Brady and Robinson led Monmouth with eight points each, while Hornbeak added seven points.
Monmouth extended to a nine-point lead twice early in the second half, before an 8-0 run punctuated by a Washington-Ives fast-break lay-up cut the deficit to one. A three-pointer from the top of the key by Thomas tied the game at 45-45 with 12:39 to play, before Washington-Ives fed Carey inside to give the Broncs a 49-48 lead at the 9:40 mark.
The Hawks retook the lead until Washington-Ives connected on two free throws at the 2:39 mark and Thomas hit a jumper with the shot clock running down and 1:44 left, giving Rider a 69-66 cushion. But Monmouth would score the final eight points of the game to take the 74-69 victory.
“I feel like, with Stevie out, I had to step up,” said Washington-Ives. “I feel like I didn’t do enough for Coach in the Iona game. So I tried to bring energy on the defensive end and the offensive end.”
For the game, the Broncs outshot the Hawks, 44.3 percent (27-61) to 36.4 percent (24-66) from the floor. The Hawks edged the Broncs, 26.9 percent (7-26) to 17.6 percent (3-17) from long range and 76.0 percent (19-25) to 75.0 percent (12-16) from the free-throw line. Monmouth outrebounded Rider, 46-37.
“I think Kevin Baggett is as good of a coach, and we’ve got some really good ones in this league,” said Monmouth Head Coach King Rice. “To have the game they had the other night, to be down to seven or eight guys and still have to practice and we’re coming into your building after you beat us on our court and to play us to where we have to really, really, really have some breaks go our way down the stretch to get the win, I can’t say enough about the job Kevin Baggett does. This was an ugly game, but it was a tough game because of Rider’s coach and players.”
The Broncs return to action Saturday, when they play host to Quinnipiac. Tip-off from Alumni Gymnasium is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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MBB: HL vs. Manhattan 2/22/17
MBB: Interviews vs. Canisius 2/17/17
MBB: HL vs. Quinnipiac 2/11/17
MBB: HL vs. Monmouth 2/6/17
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MBB: HL vs. Niagara 1/8/17
MBB: HL at Monmouth 12/31/16 (courtesy of MDN)
MBB: HL vs. Drexel 12/16/16
MBB: HL vs. Kennesaw State 12/14/16
MBB: HL vs. Siena 12/5/16
MBB: Siena Postgame Press Conference 12/5/16
MBB: HL vs. Fairfield 12/1/16
MBB HL vs. Bloomsburg 11/5/16
MBB: Team IMPACT PC 3/24/16
MBB: HL vs. Manhattan 2/28/16