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MONMOUTH HOLDS OFF A UMBC LATE RALLY, 80-74
Baltimore, MD-Senior center Kevin Owens scored a season high 23 points and led five players in double figures as Monmouth (10-8, 8-1) remained in a tie for first place with an 80-74 victory over UMBC (6-12, 4-5) in a Northeast Conference matchup. The Hawks have won five straight and are knotted with Wagner for first place in the Northeast Conference. UMBC had won two straight and three of five entering the game. The Hawks trailed just once, 1-0, and built a 20-10 lead midway through the first half. Junior forward Jason Krayl tallied 13 first half points as the Hawks took a 37-28 halftime advantage. Monmouth built the lead to 50-35 with 13:54 to play, but UMBC put together a furious rush to close to within 56-53 with 7:47 to play. Rob Gogerty capped the run with a three point goal and had an open look on the next possession to tie the game, but was off the mark. UMBC was still within four points at 69-65 on a P.J. Hatcher jumper with 1:41 to play, but the Hawks hit 5 of 6 free throws as UMBC failed on its next three possessions to take a comfortable 74-65 lead with 50 seconds to play. Monmouth hit a stellar 29 of 35 from the free throw line (82.9%), while UMBC was just 3 of 8, and was not awarded a free throw in the second half. The Retrievers made nine more field goals than the visitors, hitting 31 of 63 (29.2%) and they outrebounded MU, 37-26.Owens was 7 of 10 from the floor and 9 of 11 from the line, and had a team high 7 rebounds. Sophomore forward Blake Hamilton finished with 14 points and Krayl added 13. Senior guard Justin Wilson led the Retrievers with a season-high 19 points, hitting 8 of 12 from the floor. Hatcher added 14, while leading scorer Kareem Washington was held to 11 points on 4 of 14 shooting. The road team has now won five straight in the series.