MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth’s Justin Aluya (Placentia, Calif./Valencia) came up big when it mattered most last week, keeping Monmouth tied for the top spot in the Midwest Conference with wins in a pair of pivotal games and earning this week’s MWC Performer of the Week award in the process.
Aluya played all but five minutes of last Wednesday’s 84-79 win at Grinnell. The senior pumped in 26 points and went 10-for-10 from the free throw line, but it was his defense that helped the Scots hold the Pioneers nearly 40 points below their average. Aluya blocked a game-high five shots and pulled down 13 defensive boards, giving him 17 total rebounds. He was at it again Saturday, playing all but four minutes in a battle of two of the three teams tied for the league lead. Aluya dialed in 16 points, sinking 10-of-12 free throws which included a 3-for-4 series in the final seconds to ice the game, and pulled down eight defensive rebounds as Monmouth posted a 76-69 win over Lake Forest. For the week, Aluya averaged a double-double, scoring 21 points, making 20-of-22 free throws and hitting nearly half his shots from the floor, and 12.5 rebounds per game while blocking six shots and recording three steals.