Monmouth Men’s Basketball has been pushing hard all-conference season with effective plays that are bringing the players to the net. The Hawks just went up against Sienna who they blew away with an amazing shooting game and now they will be up against their strongest opponent, Rider. Rider is number one in the MAAC with an impressive 7-1 record in the conference. The Broncs are ready to keep their winning streak on a role but Monmouth has a different plan.
Monmouth opened up with Diago Quinn, Deion Hammond, Nick Rutherford, Mustapha Traore, and Marcus McClary. Rider started off with Dimencio Vaughn, Anthony Durham, Stevie Jordan, Tyere Marshall, and Allen Jordan. These players all display amazing potential, this game no one will be holding back.
Monmouth was first to get their hands on the ball with Traore going in for a layup but it was just slightly off thanks to a block by Marshall. Traore was able to regain possession of the ball thanks to a defensive rebound who later passed the ball to Rutherford for a layup but missed the basket. This didn’t stop the unrelenting power of the Hawks as Quinn captured possession and went straight up for a successful layup under the basket. That was just the beginning after a missed 3Pt basket by Durham was captured by Rutherford, Traore was back at the net with a great jump. Two minutes into the game and the Hawks have gained a strong advantage over this number one team. Rider’s Durham went through with a layup that was off from the basket but the Bronc’s offense was quick to get the rebound but a foul was called on Marshall giving the ball to the Hawks. Quinn went through the defense again but was slightly off with his layup allowing Marshall to get the rebound. Marshall went directly to the basket but missed the layup but thankfully Durham was nearby to rebound the shot. The ball was passed to Stevie Jordan who went deep for a 3Pt basket. seconds later, Rutherford had his hands on the ball and went in for a jump shot that made it through the basket. Rider was looking to capture the lead as Jordan Allen fired a 3Pt basket at the net tieing the game 6-6 at 17:00. Monmouth was slowing down as Quinn went inside the paint for a great jump putting the Hawks back on top. Vaughn missed a 3Pt basket for Rider that would have given the advantage to the Broncs. The shot was rebounded by Quinn but a foul was called on Hammond turning the ball over. Rider called out Anothy Durham for Frederick Scott during the foul. Vaughn was able to get possession but missed his 3Pt shot that was rebounded by Traore. A foul was called on Marshall that Monmouth used to call a timeout to collaborate. Marshall was subbed out and stepping on to the court was Ajiri Ogemunno-Johnson. Traore attempted a jump shot thankfully Quinn was under the basket to rebound and make a good shot under the hoop. Vaughn looked to close the gap with a good jump bringing the score to 10-8 at 15:20 with Monmouth still in the lead by two.
Monmouth ran down the court with the ball, seeing an opening Hammond fired a 3Pt basket that was rebounded by Rutherford who missed the jump shot giving the ball back to Rider. Allen also missed the 3Pt shot and the rebound off Vaughn resulted in a foul on Hammond. Thankfully Vaughn was only able to make one successful free throw shot keeping Monmouth in the lead by one. Hammond was subbed out during the free throw for Louie Pillari The ball was back and forth on the court as the ball was turned over by Rutherford but then stolen from Vaughn by Pillari but then was stolen back by Vaughn giving Allen an opportunity to make a jump at the net. Rider was not in the lead by one but not for long as Traore made a great jump shot in the paint to regain the lead for the Hawks. A foul was then placed on Ogemuno-Johnson that gave Traore a free throw opportunity. Rutherford, Quinn, Ogemuno-Johnson were subbed out and going in was Samuel Chaput, Nikkei Rutty, and Devine Eke. The ball was rebounded Allen who went for a 3Pt shot but it was off and rebounded by Traore. There was a turnover on the court as Eke took possession of the ball but a foul was called on the play. Pillari went for a 3Pt basket but was slightly off that allowed Vaughn to rebound the ball but his 3Pt basket was also off. The ball was captured by Rutty and then passed to Chaput who made a great jump shot for the Hawks. There was a timeout called on the court that subbed out Vaughn and Jordan for Durham and Kimar Willams. A foul was called on Frederick Scott giving Pillari two great free throws but Williams answered back with a jump shot at the basket.
Entering into the halfway mark of the first half with Monmouth in the lead by 3 (16-13) Chaput turned the ball over from a steal by Williams but a foul was called on Chaput. Rider used this time to sub out Allen and Eke for Jordan and Vaughn. Scott turned over the ball to which, Monmouth subbed out Traore for Quinn. Martin having the ball in his hands jumped at the basket assisted by Chaput. Following close by was another Monmouth score by Rutty pushing through the defense. The offense power didn’t stop as Chaput stole the ball from Williams to make a fastbreak at the basket. Chaput instantly went in for a layup. Vaughn now had possession went in for a layup but was blocked by Quinn however the ball was recovered by Durham who sent it to Eke who shot the ball in the basket. A foul was called on Jordan giving the ball to Monmouth as letting Martin make a jump shot.
The action was on hold for a short period until the court fired up again as a foul on Quinn gave two free throws to Scott. Hammond was there for the Hawks with a deep 3Pt basket that was followed up with a foul on Jordan that gave two successful free throws to Rutherford. Another foul was called soon after giving Quinn two more successful free throw. Monmouth was on a role as turnover on Ogemuno-Johnson gave Pillari the perfect opportunity to jump to the hoop. With just under five minutes left in the first half, the Hawks had a 16Pt lead 33-17. The Hawks lead continued to rise as another foul was given on Willams that gave Rutherford make two successful free throws. Rider was ready to strike back with a series of consecutive shots that lowered the Monmouth lead to 11Pt but a foul on Vaughn gave Quinn the opportunity to recover two of those lost points. Another foul was called on Durham to which Pillari recovered three points. The Half ended with a foul on Rutty that gave Durham two good free throws but Monmouth was still in the lead 40-28.
Monmouth was dominating this number one team all through the first half and they were ready for another half of great basketball. Rider opened the half with Vaughn making a layup at the net but a foul was called on Marshall giving Quinn two free throws and a foul was called on Quinn giving Marshall two free throws. Hammond got the ball firing it in the net for a 3Pt basket. Jordan was playing hard for Rider as he jumped to the hoop and thanks to a foul on Quinn was able to get a free throw in as well. Jordan followed up after a steal by Vaughn gave him the opening to make another jump shot. Rider kept their momentum with a steal by Marshall that was passed to Durham who slammed the ball in the net. Rider continued to lay down the shots getting the score to 48-45 with Monmouth only in the lead by three.
McClary was able to shoot a great 3Pt basket assisted by Hammond. Jordan tried to answer the 3Pt basket but missed the shot however Vaughn rebounded the ball and gave it to Durham who went to the net for a good shot. The score was tied twice with a foul on Rutty giving Scott two free throws that was followed up by a dunk by Eve. Salnave made a fast break in the paint to give the Hawks back in the lead but a foul on Rutty allowed Scott to tieing the game again. The Hawks never gave up getting the lead again as Traore jumped at the basket but another foul tied the game yet again as Scott made a free throw shot. At 9:07 Rider gained the advantage of the game thanks to a 3Pt basket by Durham. Rider remained in the lead until the last two minutes which Rutherford rushing passed the defense for a great layup to tie the game.
Both teams were on edge as the clock was quickly ticking to the end of the game. Thankfully a foul on Durham at 1:23 tied the game again as Quinn got a free throw shot. Monmouth took the lead when a foul on Vaughn giving Salnave two great free throw shots. With 15 seconds left on the clock, Durham tried to fire a 3Pt basket but missed allowing Monmouth to recover the ball. A foul was called on Marshall during the rebound and Quinn sealed the victory for the Hawks with two great free throws.
Monmouth erupted with excitement as they just took down the number one team in the MAAC. The hard work of this team pushed through and prevailed in the end. Now Monmouth is ready for any opponent proving what they are capable of. The Hawks will go on to face St.Peter’s who they already won against back on January 5th 61-44. They will return to the OceanFirst Bank Center on February 17th against Marist at 2 pm.