WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Monmouth came back from a 13-point deficit to score a season-high 96 points and top Princeton Tuesday night at OceanFirst Bank Center, 96-90. The win sets a program record for consecutive wins with nine, and the Hawks are now off to the best start in program history at 10-2.
Four Hawks worked into double figures, and Josh James (Greenburgh, NY/Archbishop Stepinac) knocked home a jumper with five seconds left in the opening half to complete the early comeback and give MU its first lead. The Hawks then used a 16-0 run to go from down eight to up eight in the second period, and held on with clutch foul shooting down the stretch to beat their in-state rivals.
NOTES AND QUOTES
“That was as good of a college basketball game that I’ve been in in a long time. The back-and-forth was incredible.” –head coach King Rice
“It’s been a year of getting more comfortable with this team, and getting more relaxed with these guys and now it’s clicking.” –senior Je’lon Hornbeak
“Sooner or later the ball is going to go in and we’re going to do that by getting stops.” –King Rice
-Monmouth has now won nine games in a row, a school record.
-The Hawks are out to their best start ever at 10-2.
-Monmouth is now 5-11 all-time against Princeton.
-Tonight marks the earliest the Hawks have entered a holiday break under King Rice (December 20).
-King Rice is now 13-12 in his career against New Jersey opponents.
-Justin Robinson’s first point of the night at 6:46 of the first put him into fifth all-time in scoring, passing William Lewis.
-Hornbeak recorded his first career double-double.
-Josh James rejoined the starting lineup after missing two games and coming off the bench in a third.
-Pierre Sarr came off the bench for the first time in three games.
-Monmouth is now 6-0 in December.
-Four Hawks worked into double digits, with Micah Seaborn (10) joining Robinson, Hornbeak and Tilghman.
-The Hawks held Princeton to 33% from deep in the second half.
-Monmouth’s bench outscored Princeton 28-14.
-Monmouth rebounded from a 13-point deficit in the opening half to rally and take a one-point lead at the break.
-The Hawks trailed by 8 with 9:16 to go.
-MU used a 16-0 run in the latter stages of the second half to take the lead for good, including three triples in 1:22.
-MU closed the first half on a 16-5 run.
-Monmouth’s 96 points set a season-high.
-Austin Tilghman set a career-best with 18 points.
-Je’lon Hornbeak hit six threes for the second game in a row, tying a career-best.
-Hornbeak also knocked in 25 points, the most of his career, as well as 10 rebounds, a career-high.
Monmouth returns to the floor in eight days to take on the University of North Carolina on December 28 at the Dean Smith Center. The Chapel Hill, NC tilt will tip at 7:00 p.m. and air on ESPNU.