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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

MU hits the skids..again. Press story for Tuesday


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University men's basketball team is stuck in the mud.
Whenever the Hawks figure they're about to step on the accelerator they instead skid into reverse.
On the heels of their first Northeast Conference road win of the season Thursday they returned to Boylan Gym Monday and laid an egg the size of a baby brontosaurus.
""It was time to step up, we didn't step up,'' said Monmouth coach Dave Calloway after FDU left Monmouth in the dust, 84-71, in a game that was never really that close to the dismay of 2,103 fans.
With the defeat Monmouth (11-14, 6-7), swept by FDU (13-11, 8-5) for the first time since 1998-99, dropped into a seventh place NEC tie with Wagner (6-7, 9-16) with which it holds the tiebreaker.
Monmouth freshman Jhamar Youngblood, the NEC Rookie of the Week for the second time this year, led the Hawks tying his career high with 20 points.

But Monmouth was never in the game after halftime when it trailed 46-32 and later fell behind by as many as 23 points.
""It was tough, it was pretty much embarrassing,'' said Monmouth senior forward Dejan Delic who had 13 points and five assists.
""It was like a reverse from last year when they were more talented and we outworked them in the (NEC Tournament) championship game,'' said Delic.
""This year we were picked to win the league like they were last year. They came here and just out worked us. ""They kicked our butts. They embarrassed us on our home court.''

"It was the (fast) pace pretty much (that was damaging),'' said Monmouth senior Marques Alston who scored all of his 11 points over the first 12 minutes.
FDU senior Andre Harris scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Manny Ubilla, former Freehold Township High School star, and Michael Peeples each each tossed in 19.
""We wanted to make it an up tempo game, speed it up,'' said Ubilla who drained five of six from downtown.
Ubilla said FDU's plan was to run Monmouth up and down the floor before 7-2 center John Bunch (13 pounts, seven rebounds, six blocks) could establish himself at either end of the court. ""John Bunch is a great player, we had to out quick them tonight,''s aid Ubilla. ""He was effective but we thought we out did them tonight.''
Sliding backwards was not what the Hawks had in mind when the evening began with Monmouth looking to avenge last week's one-point loss in Hackensack.

But the Hawks were all but officially buried after FDU went on a 26-4 blitz that bridged halftime. It included a 9-0 burst to open the second half that gave the Knights a 55-32 lead and made certain Monmouth would not extend its seven game home court winning streak.
""Last year we held them to 48 points in the championship game,'' said Calloway. ""They had 46 points in the first half (Monday). ""They didn't do anything different this year than they did last year except for who was doing it.'' In a sarcastic tone Calloway added, "'I guess this year's (FDU) players are so much better than last year's players.''
""That's about as well as we could play, no question about it,'' said FDU coach Tom Green. ""For us to be up 14 at halftime and extend the lead out to 20 in the second half, I hadn't been in that position at all this year.''
Before last night FDU had not played in a game decided by more than five points in eight of its last nine outings.
"It was a very unique situation to be in this year coaching a team that's up like that,'' said Green. ""We probably can't play any better that what we played tonight.''
Monmouth managed to climb within 68-57 on a drive by Delic with 7:07 left but Harris hit a turn around shot over Bunch and Ubilla swished a left wing 3.


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