Dominant Second Half Lifts Monroe Mustangs Men’s Basketball to Sophomore Day Victory over Beaver Cou
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., February 21, 2020 – The Monroe College Mustangs men's basketball team looked like a completely different team in the second half against the Community College of Beaver County on Friday, outscoring the Titans, 56-32, over the final 20 minutes to pick up an 84-67 win at the Monroe Athletic Complex over NJCAA Div. II's No. 8-ranked team. The Mustangs improve to 21-9 overall with the win, while the Titans fall to 25-3. The Mustangs celebrated Sophomore Day prior to tip-off on Friday. The team honored its six graduating sophomores in Elijah Mitchell, Zion Styles, Juan Felix Rodriguez, Shaheim Fryar, Akeem Tate and Marcus Thompson with a ceremony before the game began. The Mustangs got off to a slow start, and fell behind, 16-8, with 12:13 left in the first half. Six straight points got the Mustangs right back within two, but an 8-0 run by the Titans put the visitors up by 10. Another seven-point stretch for Beaver County gave the Titans a 14-point edge, but the game of runs continued, as Monroe responded with an 11-1 run to get back within four. Simeon Fryer then hit a three for the Titans to close out the scoring for the half, leaving Beaver County on top, 35-28. Juan Felix Rodriguez's seven points led the Mustangs at the half. Elijah Mitchell pulled down a team-high four rebounds and added two steals. Zion Styles and Akeem Tate both contributed five points apiece. Monroe opened the second half with its first seven points, immediately tying the game at 35-35. After Beaver County halted the run, the Mustangs made two-straight buckets to take a 39-37 lead. 12 straight points had the Mustangs ahead, 47-37, with 16:30 still left to play. The Mustangs continued to roll, pushing the lead to 64-44 with 9:35 on the clock. Things slowed down for the Mustangs over the next few minutes, allowing the Titans to get back within 12 points at 69-57 with 5:36 remaining in regulation. A timeout helped the Mustangs regain control, scoring the next five points to go back up by 17. There was some back-and-forth scoring to close out the game, but the Mustangs' big second half proved to be the difference in the 84-67 victory. Rodriguez led the Mustangs with 25 points and seven rebounds, making five three-pointers in the win. Thompson finished with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Styles tallied 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in the victory. Mitchell totaled nine points, six boards, two assists and two steals. The Mustangs now wait for the field to be set for the Region XV Championship Tournament to see when they will play next. Saturday's Harcum College vs. ASA College matchup will determine the final regular-season standings in the region.