Monmouth men's basketball played Norfolk State Thursday live from OceanFirst Bank Arena where the Hawks fell 64-59. The Hawks were looking for their first win of the season, while the Spartans were looking for their third. Norfolk State got off to a strong start as Monmouth was struggling on defense and couldn't get anything on offense early. Norfolk State was able to force a couple of shot clock violations as they played tight defense and forced the Hawks to put up difficult shots.
Norfolk State was able to get great looks against Monmouth's defense as they were up 10-2 early in the first half. Then Monmouth started to make a run a little cutting the lead to three at 10-7. Monmouth had success converting on Norfolk State's turnovers which lead to points. Monmouth had a 13-0 run at one point in the first half as they were up 20-12 with 7 minutes to go. Norfolk State then had their own run going on a 11-0 run with 2 minutes left as the Spartans led Monmouth 32-22 at the half. Monmouth was down 10 at halftime as they struggled late in the first half to get the momentum back from Norfolk State.
The Hawks also had trouble stopping Joe Bryant Jr. who went off yesterday for Norfolk State. In the second half, Monmouth did a better job on defense as the Hawks cut the lead to three early, forcing Norfolk State to call a timeout. With 7:35 left to go in the game, Monmouth was able to cut the lead to one at 53-52. Norfolk State then went on a 7-0 run extending the lead to 60-52 with 3:25 left. The Hawks tried to make another comeback, but it was too late and started to play the fouling game.
Bryant Jr came up huge the whole game for Norfolk State, finishing with 23 points, one assist and seven rebounds. Christian Ings was also in double figures for them ending with 13 points, three assists and three rebounds. Norfolk State now improves to 3-2 on the season.
Give credit to the Hawks for hanging in the game, not letting the Norfolk State runs get to them, staying locked in, getting their own runs also and playing better defense Thursday. Monmouth also had two players in double figures with Jack Collins and Jack Holstrom. The freshman finished with 14 points, one assist and three rebounds, while Holmstrom finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
Jakari Spence and Tahron Allen had good games as they each had seven points and three rebounds for the Hawks. Myles Foster filled up the stat sheet for Monmouth as he finished with six points, four assists and 11 rebounds. Freshman big man Amaan Sandhu picked up his first start of the season on Thursday, finishing with two points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.
The Hawks showed a lot of improvements on Thursday even though they are 0-4 now and still looking for their first win of season. They played a great brand of basketball for 40 minutes which they can build on in the next game.
Monmouth Will Now Face Colgate on the Road Monday November 21st at 7:00 Pm as They Try to Get Their First Win of Season.