Monmouth definitely played hard, the fourteenth youngest team in the country will have to, but that relentless work ethic on the court only earned them a 16-point loss against a Seton Hall team that didn't play well for large stretches of last night's contest. The Pirates led by as many as 26 points with 11:53 remaining in the second half before a never-say-die Monmouth team shrunk the gap to 16 in the dying minutes.
Patrik Auda dominated the court with assertion on Monday night, the redshirt junior scored a career-high 27 points (8-9 fg, 9-9 ft), including several emphatic dunks, while also bringing in 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks... all in 22 minutes of action. Monmouth head coach King Rice exclaimed "That kid is good!" when asked about Auda after the game.
In addition to Auda's huge night, Sterling Gibbs (16 pts 4-5fg, 6-6 ft, 4 ast, 4 reb) put in an overlooked-yet-efficient performance and Stephane Manga came off the bench to score 14 points and grab 6 boards.
Post-game quotes from Kevin Willard:
Quotes on in-game strategy, taken from Joshua Newman's game story and recap: "The two things we talked about with this game was trying to make them score in the halfcourt, because we didn't think they could do it against us. We also didn't want to give up too many 3's. We did one, but we didn't do the other very well."
"We spent a lot of time on our offense and execution. We had a lot of turnovers against Mercer. We talked about when we get up 12, when we're up nine in the second half. We were up nine with eight minutes to go and we did some things you can't do on the road. More or less, we spent two and a half hours watching film and teaching. Guys aren't gonna pick up a team in one day."
Willard on Auda: "I think Patrik played terrific. I think he's played terrific. Him being aggressive - 22 minutes to score 27 points and grab 10 rebounds - I though he played great. This is, again, what I envisioned for him as he came off a sophomore to a junior."
Seton Hall players:
How last season's injury has spurred Auda on this year: "I think the fact that it really hurt me last year that I couldn't play the whole year. Just every time I step on the court I'm really excited to be playing again and finally leave it out there."
Edwin on Auda's breakout game: "The Mercer game, it was just my night. Tonight it was Patrik's night. We gotta feed the hot hand."
Interesting stats & notes:
Seton Hall went on an 8:50 field goal drought from 12:12 to 3:22 in the first half, but actually maintained their lead (score went from 22-10 to 33-21) over that span due to on-point free throw shooting.
Kevin Willard started Jaren Sina and Aaron Geramipoor last night and it paid dividends. Geramipoor had a tip-in and brought down 4 rebounds (1 offensive) in the first 5 minutes of the game. Sina scored 5 points, including the first 3 of the game, before being subbed out at the 14:19 mark of the first half.
Seton Hall finished with a 40% offensive rebounding %, but had a much higher percentage after snaring 7 in the first 16:14 of the game. Monmouth had just 6 defensive rebounds over that span. Extra possessions early.
Nine Pirate turnovers were committed in the first half, but it took until the 11:10 mark in the second half for a Seton Hall turnover to occur. This proved crucial for extending the lead from 13 to 21 on the other side of the half. Seton Hall finished with a 21% TO%, right on the mark for their average, which puts them in the bottom third of the country.
After the opening two minutes, Seton Hall maintained a 95%+ win probability for the entire game. Dominant.
Sterling Gibbs is 3rd in the country in free throw rate (208.3) and 6th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (11.1)