Earlier this morning, the Monmouth University Hawks lost their home opener to the Stony Brook Seawolves in front of a raucous home crowd that was electric throughout the game. However, despite the home crowd’s roaring and cheering, the Hawks were unable to overcome a Seawolves team that looked okay and won the game in the last few minutes. I know it’s cliche to say that if there were only a little bit more time in the game, the Hawks would have won, but I really think that they were that close to taking home a victory this morning.There is no word from either the GoMUHawks.com website or The Hawks Nest over at the Asbury Park Press on the total attendance for the game. From my perspective, I saw the entire lower bowl of the arena pretty much filled (maybe there were a few open seats here and there). It looked like there could have been between 1,500 and 2,000 fans in the stands today. The folks over at Monmouth University were promoting this game heavily because it was featured on ESPN this morning from 6am EST to 8am EST.
Overall, I thought that the Hawks played well this morning. There were moments when it felt like the team was ready to break out and go on a scoring run, but the momentum never materialized for a long enough period of time to make anything major happen. I’m sure that the fact the game started at 6am EST had something to do with the team’s inability to keep the momentum fueled for a long period of time, but then again they were playing against a decent Stony Brook defense.
I was impressed by the team’s new center, Phil Wait. In case you didn’t hear about it over the summer, Coach Dave Calloway recruited Wait from jolly old England. I was trying to think of something clever to yell out during the game to mimic what they might say over in England when someone does something good. I figured instead of yelling, “Good job!” maybe I could yell something like, “Jolly good show!” but it sounded too weak. Anyway, what do they say in England when you do a good job?
James Hett also played very well as did Will Campbell – two of the returning starters from last year. Those guys are great basketball players and it would have been nice to see Campbell play a little bit more in the last few minutes of the game. With respect to the last few seconds of the game where Monmouth opted to go for three point shots when they probably would have been better offer just going for a two point shot, Coach Calloway had the following to say to The Hawks Nest after the game:
We had one (a time out). We did what we normally do. I just think if you have an opportunity to go, six seconds is enough time to get down (court), kind of in a scramble mode. I think you have a better chance of getting a good look than if you let the defense get set. So we went with it. I don’t know if we got great look but we got a look. I don’t know if we would have gotten a much better look with six seconds left. Maybe, maybe not.
RJ Rutledge – the player who took the last shot of the game – had this to say about the final shot of the game:
It was a double weave and a hand off. That’s the side I like to shoot from. I came off the screen , the shot felt good, It felt like my best shot all day. Everything felt good, my mechanics, I got a look straight on. It just didn’t go my way.
Anyway, I took some pictures with both my camera and my BlackBerry during the game. They’re all listed out below for you to take a look at when you have a moment. As always, click on the picture for a larger view (and click again on the new page for an even larger view). Some of these pictures may look pretty small in size, but I actually have much larger versions saved on my computer – just in case anyone wants to see a much larger version of any picture. Enjoy!