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Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information


Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
Release: January 22, 2017
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WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – A dominant defensive effort led to a strong offensive attack as the Monmouth men’s basketball team ran away from Fairfield Sunday at the OceanFirst Bank Center, winning 91-49 for its fifth consecutive victory. It marks the largest margin of victory for Monmouth under King Rice.

Leading by 26 at the half, a 6-0 run out of the locker room put the Hawks up 32. That lead widened to 38 at 11:34 on a Louie Pillari (Tinton Falls, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) take, and reached 40 on Pillari’s foul shot at 8:26. The largest lead was the final margin of 42, which MU reached three times.

Tied at 12, back-to-back triples from Collin Stewart (Glenville, NY/Mekeel Christian Academy) gave Monmouth the lead for good. Another Stewart long ball three minutes later made it a nine-point game, and a 20-3 Monmouth run gave the Hawks a 24-point advantage on a Micah Seaborn (Fort Worth, TX/Prime Prep Academy) three. The largest lead of the half was 26, which Monmouth reached twice, the final time coming at the buzzer on Mustapha Traore’s (Philadelphia, PA/The Phelps School) tip-in.

“Today I thought our kids came out with a different level of effort on the defensive end. We’ve been really trying to focus on our defensive play the last three or four days to try to get better at ball-screen defense and our guys have done that.” –head coach King Rice
“That might have been our best defensive effort since I’ve been here. Defensively we’ve had some pretty good efforts but that was pretty incredible today.” –King Rice

-Four Hawks found double figures for the 11th time this season.
-Justin Robinson scored 20+ points for the fourth consecutive game, and made four threes for the second game in a row and third time in the last four games.
-Monmouth’s halftime lead of 24 is the largest margin of the season.
-The 42-point victory is the largest under King Rice, previously having won by 29 points as the largest margin of victory.
-Rice now has eight 20+ point victories in his career, the last coming with a 26-point win at Marist last year.
-Louie Pillari worked into double figures for the first time ever, scoring a career-best 13 points and also grabbing a career-high five rebounds in a career-high 20 minutes.
-Today marks the largest margin of victory over a MAAC opponent.
-Monmouth has now won six in a row over Fairfield.
-The Hawks have an identical record to the 21-game mark as they did last season.
-Mustapha Traore grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
-Sam Ibiezugbe tied a career-high with six rebounds and set a career-mark with three blocks.
-Monmouth led in points in the paint, points off turnovers, second-chance points, fast break points and bench scoring.

-The 49 points allowed is the fewest Monmouth has allowed this season.
-Monmouth held a team under 50 points for the fourth time under King Rice.
-24 first half points given up is the lowest amount allowed in the first 20 minutes by MU this year.
-The Hawks forced 23 turnovers, the most MU has forced this year.
-Monmouth held Fairfield to 29.3% from the floor and 19.2% from three, both the lowest for an opponent this season.
-Monmouth led for 38:51 and the final 32:41.
-10 different Hawks scored.

-Monmouth is off until Friday, January 27 when they host Quinnipiac at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

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