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Saturday, February 03, 2007

MU hoops story for Press for Sunday/A Block Party perhaps?


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Sulton of Swat, Monmouth University senior center
John Bunch, was at his dominating, history making best
Saturday night.
With 4:46 remaining in the Northeast Conference game the 7-2, 320 pound
Bunch reached up along the left baseline to destroy an attempted jump shot by 6-
6 junior Robert Hines of St. Francis, N.Y.
The block completed a remarkable feat of 11 points, 11
rebounds, and 10 blocks by Bunch.
The first triple double in Monmouth
Division I annals helped steer the Hawks to a 69-60 victory and a
sweep of their three-game home stand before 2,010 at Boylan Gym.
Though what could be a key road game for NEC Tournament seeding
looms Monday at Fairleigh Dickinson, Saturday Monmouth (10-12, 5-5)
wasn't looking past the Terriers (5-19, 3-9) who
defeated the Hawks Jan. 22 in Brooklyn.
""He (Bunch) was the difference, especially on the defensive end, ''
said Monmouth coach Dave Calloway. "The couldn't score inside and that
enabled us to extend on their shooters and they didn't hit too many 3's (4-
Bunch, who once blocked an NCAA record 18 shots in a Division III game
prior to his Monmouth career, said he was in a shot blocking rhythm
""You just learn
what players
are going to do, you know their moves which makes it easier to defend them,''
he said.
"When you're in a rhythm you feel like you can block anything.''
Saturday night he almost did. It didn't matter if it was Hines, 6-3 Marcus Williams, or whoever it was in a dark, visiting uniform.
Block knocked away shot after shot, five in each half, and altered others in 22 total minutes.
""I didn't know (Bunch had a triple double) until I got in the locker
room,'' said Monmouth sophomore guard Whitney Coleman.
""But the way he was catching shots and swatting shots I was thinking in my head, "He has to have at least 10 blocks.' ''

Rookie Jhamar Youngblood led Monmouth with 19 points and four assists and
and Coleman popped home 15 of his 17 points in the second half hitting three goals from outside the arc.
""He (Bunch) was an animal on the boards as well and (on offense) he was fighting
for position, going up strong,'' said Coleman.
""I'm not that surprised (at the triple double). I expect that from him.''
At halftime senior Dejan Delic, Monmouth's leading scorer, did not have a
point but swished two from
deep and scored eight points in the second half.
""I told Deki (Delic) at halftime, "We've got to bring it this half,'
because we were off in the first half,'' Coleman said.
Monmouth hiked a seven-point lead in the second half as treys by Delic and Coleman
capped an 8-0 run to a 56-41 lead.
Hines had 20 points to lead St. Francis which got within 59-50 with 2:09
showing but layups by Youngblood and Coleman settled the issue.
"Before the three games (at home) we were on a bit of a slide,''said
Coleman referring to a four-game losing streak that has dropped Monmouth's
road record to 1-9.
""I feel now the team morale
is back up to where it needs to be and we'll be all right,'' said Coleman.
Monmouth's 33-24 lead after 20 minutes marked its first
in eight games (Jan. 4) vs.
Bunch, powering to the rim or reaching the free throw line, unleashed
his own eight point run to expand a 25-22 lead.
The big guy also
made almost every Terrier venture into the paint
an adventure with the five rejections.
Monmouth shot 54 percent (13-for-24) in the first half while the St. Francis
struggled at 31 percent (10-for-32).
NOTES...Monmouth senior Marques Alston Saturday played in his 118th game for Monmouth, fourth most in
Monmouth Division 1 history passing Dwayne Byfield. Alston will tie Blake Hamilton for
third place Monday night at FDU. After that in sight is No. 2 Jason
Krayl (121) and Chris Kenny (124 games)...Alston needs three more rebounds to
become Monmouth's seventh D1 player with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.



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