WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – A second-half surge by Monmouth led to a 76-61 win over the North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team in the final game of the Barclays Center Classic, Saturday evening at the Multipurpose Athletic Center.
Senior Richaud Pack led Aggies (2-5) with 19 points off the bench and was named to the Barclays Center Classic all-tournament team following the game. Senior Lamont Middleton scored 15 and senior Jeremy Underwood added 10 against the Hawks who improved to 3-4. Pack and Middleton notched their seventh consecutive game scoring in double-figures.
“We didn’t play with any poise,” head coach Cy Alexander said. “I thought we played well in spurts but that’s our problem. We had six or seven good minutes but then would turn around and have six or seven bad minutes and that’s the byproduct of a young team. All we can keep doing is coaching and sooner or later the bad spurts will start diminishing and the good spurts will increase.”
In the second half A&T took a 39-33 lead. But the Hawks drained a 3-pointer at the 16:48 mark. It sparked a run of nine unanswered points as the Hawks surged to a 51-46 lead with 10:34 remaining.
A&T was never able to respond to the Hawks as they held their double-digit lead for the remainder of the game. The Aggies struggled to make shots and recorded 22 turnovers. During the second half, Monmouth was 17-for-34 from the floor and hit all seven of its free throws.
The Aggies wasted no time opening the game in their favor as they cruised to a 14-3 lead. A&T’s defense held Monmouth scoreless from the field until the 14:14 mark when the Hawks hit a jumper to cut A&T’s advantage to 14-9.
Both teams went cold on offense until the Hawks used a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from Deon Jones to take the 24-23 edge with 4:33 remaining in the half. Pack gave the Aggies the 31-29 advantage with a pair of free throws with 31seconds remaining but with five seconds left in the half, Tyrone O’Garro slam dunked an alley-oop to tie the game.
Jones led all scorers with 27 points and Andrew Nicholas finished with 19 for Monmouth. James Josh recorded nine assists.
A&T returns back to Corbett Sports Center on Thursday, Dec. 5 to host Wright State at 7 p.m.