ALBANY, NY- Monmouth’s men’s basketball team was defeated by Siena in the MAAC semifinals on Sunday evening, 89-85. Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, NY/Kingston) led MU with 22 points, while Nico Clareth’s strong second half of 27 points propelled the Saints to the win.
Siena used an 18-4 run in the second half to get the Monmouth lead within one, and took their first lead of the period at 7:34 on Ashante Shivers’ layup. The teams traded leads before Siena took the lead for good at 4:30. MU got it within one in the final minute, but Siena knocked in all six foul shots inside the final minute to secure the win.
Monmouth took a 14-point lead into the locker room after the Hawks ended the half on a 9-0 run over the final 1:43 and 20-7 after the lead was trimmed to just one. Josh James (Greenburgh, NY/Archbishop Stepinac) ignited the run after knocking in a jumper and a three 40 seconds apart, and the Hawks got the final nine of the period on Louie Pillari’s (Tinton Falls, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) wing trifecta and Je’lon Hornbeak (Arlington, TX/Grace Prep/Oklahoma) taking one to the rim at the buzzer.
NOTES AND QUOTES “No one is going to take away what we did. We’re still learning how to do it and these kids were amazing but tonight it wasn’t enough.” –head coach King Rice
-Monmouth was defeated for the first time since January 2nd, snapping a 17-game winning streak, a program record. -Justin Robinson scored 22 points, his 41st career 20+ point game. -MU put five players in double digits for the first time this season. -Monmouth falls in the MAAC semifinal for the first time since 2015. -MU exits the MAAC Tournament with 27 wins for the second consecutive season. -Micah Seaborn missed the first game of his career. -Collin Stewart made his ninth start of his career and seventh this season. -It was the third time this year that MU started an all senior lineup, doing so at Syracuse and on senior night at home against Siena. NUMBERS CRUNCH -The Hawk led in points in the paint 46-30. -MU scored 26 points off of 18 Siena turnovers. -The Hawks shot a season-best 94.1% from the foul line. -Siena’s Nico Clareth scored 27 points after halftime, including seven three-pointers. -Both teams shot over 50% for the game. -Siena netted 64 second-half points. UP NEXT -Monmouth will compete in postseason play that is yet to be determined.