The Monmouth University men’s basketball team fell 77-63 to visiting Mount St. Mary’s in Northeast Conference action on Thursday night, as sophomore Max DiLeo (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) added a career-high 12 points and freshman Tyrone O'Garro (Newark, N.J./Saint Peter’s Prep) hauled in a career-best 11 rebounds for the Hawks.
Monmouth, which also got a team-best 15 points from Ed Waite (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Pine Crest), hit 22-of-59 from the floor and went 3-of-14 from three-point range in the loss. DiLeo, who hit 5-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line, added a career-high five rebounds and a career-best five steals as well. Waite, who went 7-of-12 from the field, added six boards, while O’Garro added six points.
“Give credit to Mount St. Mary’s and the staff. They got away from us in the second half. They were the team in better condition, tougher, faster and stronger. We have a lot of work to do, so we can stop having this terrible feeling,” said head coach King Rice.
The Mountaineers jumped out to an 8-0 lead just 2:07 into the game, and led by as many as 10 point three times, including 22-12 with 12:23 left. Trailing by 10, Monmouth rattled off a 14-4 run, highlighted by Christian White’s (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) deep three-pointer and capped by Stephen Spinella’s (Colts Neck, N.J./Apex Academy) three-point play to knot the score at 26-26 with 8:45 remaining.
The Mount answered with the next four points to claim a 30-26 advantage on Sam Prescott’s drive, before Jesse Steele’s (Milford, N.J./Oak Hill Academy) corner trey and Dion Nesmith’s (Union, N.J./Union) drive gave the Hawks their first lead 31-30 with 5:39 remaining. Mount St. Mary’s built its lead to 34-31 with 2:15 on the clock, but Waite’s putback and two White free throws at 1:18 tied the game at 35-35, which held until the break.
The Hawks corralled a 38-37 edge on Waite’s drive 1:45 into the second half, but the Mount answered with an 8-0 run over 1:48 of action to hold a 45-38 lead.
Monmouth climbed within 46-45 on DiLeo’s fast break lay-up at 13:13, but the Mountaineers responded with a 22-11 run, capped by Kelvin Parker’s three-pointer, to take a 68-56 lead with 5:48 left.
The Mountaineers, who had four players in double-figures, built their lead to 76-57 with 4:24 remaining, as part of a 30-12 streak.
MSM, which hit eight three-pointers, connected on 49.1% (27-55) from the floor, as Shivaughn Wiggins hit for a game-high 16 points to lead the Mountaineers, who improve to 15-13 overall and 10-7 in the NEC.
Monmouth (10-20, 5-12 NEC) returns to action on Saturday, March 2, in the season finale when the Hawks host Wagner in their final Northeast Conference game at 7 p.m. in the MAC.