WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. Louis Brookins (Silver Spring, Md.) scored a game-high 14 points, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated by Monmouth, 74-63, Saturday night at Boylan Gym. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 8-9 (4-3 NEC), while the Hawks improve to 5-13 (3-3 NEC).
James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) added 12 points, while James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) and Bryan Geffen (Queens, N.Y.) contributed 11 points each. Brookins, Feldeine and Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) had seven rebounds apiece.
Travis Taylor led four Monmouth scorers in double-figures with 13 points. Will Campbell added 12 points, while Dutch Gaitley and Alex Nunner had 11 points each.
The Bobcats looked to have seized control of the game with 13:42 remaining in the second half, as they took a 39-33 lead on Geffen's free throw and Monmouth point guard James Hett was ejected following his second technical foul of the game. The Quinnipiac lead increased to 41-33 on a pair of Johnson free throws with 13:30 left.
But after eight total fouls were called in the entire first half, the Bobcats were whistled for eight consecutive infractions in a span of two minutes and 37 seconds. The Hawks consequently connected on seven free throw attempts to creep back to within three, 46-43, at the 9:11 mark.
The run continued with Campbell's three, a Nunner layup and an R.J. Rutledge fast-break layup as the Hawks took a 50-46 lead with 7:16 remaining. In total, the Monmouth spurt amounted to a 17-5 run covering five minutes and 20 seconds.
A pair of Johnson free throws and a fade-away jumper from Feldeine knotted the game at 50-50 with 6:28 left. The teams exchanged the next eight points before Campbell nailed another three and followed with a fast-break layup on the next Monmouth possession to give the Hawks the lead for good.
A back-and-forth first half ended with the Hawks on top by one, 30-29, as Gaitley's three-pointer from the right wing fell at the buzzer. The 6-9 center found the ball in his possession on the perimeter as the final seconds ticked down and made just his second in eight three-point attempts on the season. While the Bobcats held their largest lead of the half, 29-24, with 2:40 left in the period, Gaitley's three followed a three-pointer from Nunner to give the Hawks a 6-0 run heading into the locker room for halftime.
Geffen led all first-half scorers with eight points, while Feldeine had seven and Johnson added six for the Bobcats. Hett and Mike Myers Keitt had seven apiece to lead Monmouth. The Bobcats edged the Hawks, 44.4 percent (12-27) to 44.0 percent (11-25) from the floor, while Monmouth took a 44.4 percent (4-9) to 37.5 percent (3-8) advantage from long range. Quinnipiac took an 18-13 advantage on the glass in the first half.
For the game, Monmouth outshot Quinnipiac, 46.8 percent (22-47) to 41.4 percent (24-58) from the floor, 38.9 percent (7-18) to 21.4 percent (3-14) from long range, and 79.3 percent (23-29) to 70.6 percent (12-17) from the free-throw line. The Bobcats outrebounded Monmouth, 35-32.
The Bobcats return to action Thursday, when they play host to intrastate NEC foe Sacred Heart. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.