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Sunday, November 11, 2007

MU men's hoops - So near and yet so far/Story for Monday Press



NEWARK - As a he stood outside the media room Sunday afternoon at the Prudential
center, Monmouth University sophomore guard Jhamar Youngblood said he was ""pleasantly

He was referring to his team's
effort in its near shock of Seton Hall.[PARA]

The Pirates withstood Monmouth's bid for what would have been one its more memorable
upsets, outlasting the Hawks in overtime, 89-81.

"I saw this performance, and even though we were so close to winning, I saw a lot in our
guys,'' said Youngblood.

The 2006-2007 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year poured in 22 of his game high tying
27 points in the second half and overtime in the new home of Seton Hall (1-0).

""I could look in the eyes of somebody like R.J. (freshman R.J. Rutledge), Alex (junior
Alex Nunner), even James (freshman James Hett) and see that they were fearless and ready to
win,'' Youngblood said.

With the near miss Monmouth (0-2) dropped to 0-9 vs. Seton Hall, most of them blowouts. The
script looked familiar when it trailed by 20 points late in the first half.

But in a rally that stunned most of the 6,711 fans it stormed in front by as many as three
points twice late in the second half.

It was eight seconds away from victory when rookie George Barbour rebounded home a missed
drive by Youngblood to give it a 72-70 lead.

Seton Hall sophomore Eugene Harvey, who tied his career high with 27 points, sank two free
throws with 5.5 seconds to play and Whitney Coleman's long three-ball from the left side hit
the rim at the buzzer.

""We tried to get a stop at the end of regulation, but Harvey split the defenders and we
were a half-second off,'' Monmouth coach Dave Calloway said. ""He's too good on a play like
that and we had to be exact.''

Seton Hall scored the first seven points of overtime.

""You've got to give Monmouth a lot of credit,''said Bobby Gonzalez, Seton Hall coach.
""Those kids played their brains out.

""It looked to me like that had a
game on Friday (a 63-60 loss at

""I thought you could tell it was our first game and their second game. They looked a
little more poised.''

Well, not in the first half when
they committed 16 of their 23 turnovers.

""In the second half we were just playing our game,'' said Rutledge. ""We weren't running
our offense (in the first half), too many turnovers.

"" During the second half, we played with confidence,'' Rutledge said. ""Guys were making
big shots.''

During a time out Calloway told Rutledge, "Rebound and shoot the ball,' and the silky
smooth rookie from Baldwin, N.Y. delivered 8 of his 13 points after intermission.

Nunner scored eight of his 11 points in the second half and brought the Monmouth bench to
its feet when his right wing trey with 41 seconds left gave it a 70-68 lead.

""We got back into it,'' Rutledge said. ""It was our game until they got us in overtime.''

""Some people thought Colgate would blow us out and Seton Hall would beat us by a lot,''
Youngblood said. ""That didn't happen. We just stayed together as a team.

""We said, 'Everything everybody is talking about is how we're going to lose (this
season).' We've got to prove them wrong.''

""We never gave up, we competed, and the second half was probably as good a half as we've
played in a while,'' said Calloway.

""We came close. I don't want to come close too much more. I want to get it done.''


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear that the team is out to prove all the nay-sayers wrong! That's the fighting attitude that is going to lift them to greater heights. And I think this is the attitude that has been missing. Last season was a humbling experience for the program.
I was so impressed listening to the two games this past weekend. It really sounds like this team is going to gel early on this season and be a team to contend with. If you can hang with a Big East team, you can certainly put up a really nice showing in the NEC.
Way to go Hawks! Keep up the great work and the fight to win mentality!!

9:46 AM, November 12, 2007  

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