Monroe Mustangs Men’s Basketball Cracks Century Mark in Defeat of Lackawanna
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., February 8, 2022 – The Monroe College Mustangs men's basketball team turned in its strongest offensive performance of the season on Tuesday, surpassing the 100-point mark for the first time in 2021-22 with a 103-69 victory over Lackawanna College at the Monroe Athletic Complex. The Mustangs improve to 21-5 overall with their seventh consecutive victory, while the Falcons drop to 5-14.
Lackawanna got the early jump on Tuesday with a 7-4 lead, but the Mustangs caught fire immediately after, spreading the ball around to go on a 20-0 run to take a quick 24-7 advantage. The Falcons responded by scoring 9-of-10 points, to get within nine, but a pair of buckets by Keon Gill and Melvin Council Jr. put the Mustangs back ahead by 13. The Falcons turned the tables once again, getting back within seven at 34-27 with five minutes left in the half.
Brandon Hodge got the momentum back for Monroe with his second three of the half to push the lead back to 10. This sparked a 15-4 run for the Mustangs that gave them a 49-31 advantage late in the period. Jaylen Davis scored twice in the final minutes for the Falcons, sending the game to the break with Monroe up, 49-35.
All 10 Mustangs that saw the court in the first half scored at least one point. Isac Ahnstrand led the way with 11 points, including 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range. Hamdel Mohammed was next with 10 points, while matching Council and Tyje Kelton for a team-high of five rebounds. Council and Kelton each picked up six points in the first half, as did Hodge off the bench.
Ahnstrand set the tone for the second half with a three-pointer on the opening possession to push Monroe's lead to 17. A three by Braelon Joe with 14:55 on the clock pushed the lead to 21, and then a layup by Kelton made it a 65-42 game with 14:13 left. Lackawanna rebounded, scoring the next nine points to get back within 14. Monroe bounced right back with a 15-4 run, capped off with a pair of threes by Keon Gill, to make it a 25-point game. The difference reached 31 when Gill had a fast-break slam dunk with 4:31 to go. In the final minutes, Isaiah Hanley's layup gave the Mustangs 100 points, and Jeremiah Cherry followed with a three, helping Monroe reach the final of 103-69.
12 different Mustangs ended up scoring in Tuesday's win. Mohammed led the way with 16 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Gill tallied 15 off the bench, while Ahnstrand finished with 14 points. Kelton added 13 points and seven boards, while Council produced 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Joe picked up seven points and a team-high six assists in the win. Hodge contributed eight points and three assists off the bench. David Gordon also picked up seven points and five boards off the bench.
Monroe set season-best totals with 39 field goals and 13 three-pointers in the win, shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from beyond the arc. Monroe forced 24 turnovers while only giving the ball away 12 times, leading to a 25-10 edge in points off turnovers. Depth also came into play, as Monroe's bench scored 41 points compared to just 26 for the Falcons.
The Mustangs will look to carry the momentum of seven straight wins into the most crucial game remaining on the regular-season slate, as they take on No. 8-ranked Harcum College in Region action on Thursday, Feb. 10, in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.