It’s been a historic season for the Monmouth University men’s basketball team, and December is just beginning.
During the month of November, Monmouth stunned national power UCLA on the Bruins’ legendary home floor, Pauley Pavilion.
The Hawks followed that up at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, Florida, by scoring their first victory over a top-25 team when they beat the University of Notre Dame in the quarterfinals Nov. 27.
Monmouth went on to place third in the tournament, defeating the University of Southern California, 83-73, in the thirdplace consolation game Nov. 29. It was their second win against a Pac-12 team (after UCLA) this year.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, New York) scored 27 points and set a tourney scoring record with his 77 total points in the three games. Robinson’s scoring output topped the previous record of 73 points set by former NBA first-round pick Michael Beasley in 2007 while playing for Kansas State University.
In addition to being the tournament MVP, Robinson was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week and the Lou Jenson National Player of the Week by CollegeInsider.com. Micah Seaborn earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors. The pair were integral in Monmouth’s third-place finish at the AdvoCare Invitational.
Robinson hit the game-winning free throws in Monmouth’s 72-71 win over No. 17 Notre Dame in the tournament quarterfinals.
Against USC, Robinson finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists. He shot 9-of-15 from the floor and knocked home five 3-pointers for the second consecutive game.
Seaborn netted a career-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, making four threes for the first time in his young career.
Deon Jones added his fifth career double double with 14 points and 10 caroms, shooting 4-of-11 and 6-of-7 from the foul line.
Monmouth, now 4-2 on the season, will open MAAC play on the road Dec. 4, visiting Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and then Niagara University Dec. 6.
The Hawks’ first home game of the season is Dec. 13 against Wagner College and will be televised on ESPN3. The tipoff is at 2 p.m.
Monmouth will not return home to West Long Branch until 2016 when the Hawks host Canisius and Quinnipiac University on Jan. 4 and 9.