If you decided not to go to the Monmouth University home game against the Bryant University Bulldogs last night, then you missed a very competitive, very good college basketball game. In the end, the Monmouth Hawks won by a slim five point margin, but anyone who was at the game last night has to be impressed with the tenacity of the Bulldogs both on offense and defense. I can’t believe that Bryant hasn’t won a game yet because they looked great at the MAC Center in West Long Branch last night.
However, as a Hawk fan I was glad to see our guys win. Overall, I thought the Monmouth defense was sluggish in the first half, but much better in the second half. It seemed like some of the players may have taken Bryant for granted and thus didn’t expect to be behind by almost ten points a few minutes into the game. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that some of the Hawks didn’t seem to have their heads in the game for the first half. On that note, if you head over to The Hawk’s Nest blog on the Asbury Park Press website, you’ll see that there are some interesting “notes” for the game. One of the notes says that Dutch Gaitley started for the Hawks last night because Freshman Ed Waite came late to the pregame shoot around. Frankly, Waite’s play seemed to be affected by his not starting the game. Some of that may be age-related, but since I don’t know the entire story of why he was late to the pregame shoot around, I can’t be sure of the circumstances.
Yet it wasn’t just Waite who seemed distracted last night. Another Hawk walked off the court after being substituted out and yelled, “Fuck!” because he wasn’t happy with his performance. The same player did the same thing a little bit later in the game. That’s not acceptable. Being a college athlete is not an easy responsibility to shoulder and I understand that pressure. However, there’s little that can be said to defend a player when he walks off the court and yells “Fuck!” twice in one game.
At the end of the day, though, Monmouth is on a four game winning streak and making waves in the Northeast Conference (NEC). Their next home game is on Thursday, January 21st against Saint Francis of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I will not be at that game because – fortunately – I will be teaching that night. I’ll be back watching the Hawks and taking pictures on Saturday, January 23rd when the Hawks take on Robert Morris – a game that will be broadcast on MSG.
Some other thoughts from the game…
One of the pictures below shows some Bryant fans with signs supporting their team. I thought that was great – even though the team is down 18 straight games, their fans are making the trips to away games and bringing signs to show their support. That’s great. I’m always impressed with Head Coach Dave Calloway and the way that he commands his team on the court. He’s got to be the hardest working coach in the NEC, hands down. Also, Travis Taylor started off the game a little bit slow, but I thought that he did a great job on defense. Take a look at one of the pictures below where Taylor blocked a Bryant player’s shot like it was no big thing. Taylor is a tough player and a great asset for the Hawks. Not enough good can be said for Will Campbell and his consistent levelheadedness under pressure. Campbell sunk five separate three point shots, two of which were in the last few minutes to seal the victory for the team. Very impressive. Some more on Campbell’s game-winning pair of three pointers from The Hawk’s Nest:
Campbell, who ended with a game high 19 points, sent Monmouth in front 64-62 connecting from the right corner with two minutes left.
With 15 seconds remaining Campbell struck again from the right wing after Monmouth coach Dave Calloway called time with seven seconds showing on the shot clock.
“Obviously on that last play there, we’re looking for Travis (Taylor) or Will,”
Calloway said. “Those were the two calls.”
Bryant (0-16, 0-4), which has lost 18 games in a row dating back to last season, double-teamed Taylor and point guard James Hett got the ball to Campbell.
“James made the right decision and went towards Will and Will hit a big shot,” Calloway said.
Below you’ll find nearly 30 pictures from last night’s game. I’ve been trying to refine the pictures a little bit more than from the first few games so that they all don’t look exactly the same (it’s a basketball game and I have a stationary seat, what do you expect?!). Enjoy.
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