Nov. 26, 2015
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Monmouth’s 900th win was a special one.
Justin Robinson scored 22 points, including two free throws with 3.6 seconds left, and Monmouth upset No. 17 Notre Dame 70-68 in the first round of the AdvoCare Invitational on Thursday night.
”I’m very excited that our kids believed in each other, that they felt like they belonged on the court,” Monmouth coach King Rice said. ”When you believe in each other, anything can happen.”
”And the good thing is, we can still play better,” he added.
Robinson was fouled driving to the basket and calmly sank the decisive shots. Demetrius Jackson’s midcourt jumper at the buzzer was well off the mark.
”I have to get to the rim and finish, or I’ve got to draw a foul,” Robinson said. ”I don’t care about the points I get. I care about winning. If my team needs me to score to win, that’s what I do.”
Micah Seaborn added 15 points for Monmouth (3-1), which also won at UCLA this season.
”They’re a good team than can win their league,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. ”We lost to a good team.”
Jackson had 20 points for Notre Dame (3-1).
Robinson hit two free throws before the Fighting Irish tied it at 68 on Jackson’s three-point play with 32 seconds to go. Jackson had five points during an 8-0 run that cut Notre Dame’s deficit to 62-59 with 4 minutes left.
Collin Stewart’s long jumper lifted Monmouth to a 51-47 lead 8 minutes into the second half. The Hawks extended it to 62-51 on a fast-break basket by Seaborn.
”I think our second-half start hurt us,” Brey said. ”They get really confident. Their transition is so effective.”
After being held to three first-half points, Robinson had six during the first 4 minutes of the second period to help Monmouth pull to 39-37. His three-point play gave the Hawks a 44-43 advantage with 14 minutes left.
V.J. Beachem had 11 points and Steve Vasturia chipped in with 10 as Notre Dame went up 37-29 at halftime.
Beachem finished with 14.
Monmouth held a 17-14 lead 8 minutes into the game before Jackson scored his first five points, including a 3 just before the shot clock expired. Vasturia added a 3 to put Notre Dame up 22-17.
Jackson had nine first-half points, including a slam dunk during the final minute.
Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste was held to two points during the opening 20 minutes and ended up with 12.
Je’lon Hornbeak and Seaborn both scored seven points in the opening half for Monmouth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Monmouth had 19 points off the bench, to none for Notre Dame. The Hawks also scored all 12 fast-break points in the game.
Monmouth: The Hawks entered averaging and allowing 85.3 points a game. … Monmouth defeated UCLA 84-81 in overtime. … The Hawks’ loss was 101-90 to USC, which beat No. 20 Wichita State 72-69 on Thursday in another first-round game.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish are 49-8 against the MAAC.
Monmouth: Advances to the semifinals Friday night and will face the Iowa-Dayton winner.
Notre Dame: Will play the loser of Iowa-Dayton in the consolation round Friday night.