The Monmouth College men’s basketball team opened the 2022-23 season on Wednesday night and rallied for an 83-75 home win over Eureka College. Kendall Brasfield (Chicago, Illinois) scored a career-high 27 points as Monmouth overturned an 18-point deficit in the win.
Eureka jumped out to an early lead with a pair of three pointers to go on top 3-0 and 8-2. Brasfield scored Monmouth’s first eight points but the Scots trailed 14-8 after eight minutes. David Williams (Loves Park, Illinois) knocked down 3-pointers on two straight possessions to tie the game and force a timeout by Eureka. Declan Flynn (Monmouth, Illinois) hit a 3-pointer of his own for a 17-14 Monmouth lead and Ganon Greenman (Alpha, Illinois) made a layup for a 19-17 lead. But Eureka tied the game at 19 and 21 before going on a big run.
The Red Devils scored 13 straight points for a 34-21 lead and then extended the lead to 15. Monmouth got buckets from Brasfield and Jordan Hill (Roscoe, Illinois) but Eureka took a 48-32 lead into the locker room at half time.
The Red Devils scored on their first possession of the second half for their largest lead of the game at 50-32. Yuvraj Sidhu (Coppell, Texas) scored for Monmouth and Williams split free throws. Jordan Metcalf (Aledo, Illinois) made a field goal and Williams knocked down another 3-pointer for an 8-0 Scots run. Eureka pushed the lead back to 13 with 14:46 to play before Monmouth chipped away again.
Hill and Metcalf scored, followed by Turner Plumer (Canton, Illinois) getting a jumper to go for a 60-53 Eureka lead. Monmouth cut the lead to four twice before Williams made a layup to get the deficit down to two with 8:54 to play. The lead bounced between two and four until Kyle Taylor (Moline, Illinois) made a free throw with 6:11 left to get the Scots within one. He drew a foul on the next possession and made both free throws to give the Scots their first lead since it was 19-17.
Eureka scored to go back on top 68-67 and the teams traded buckets, and the lead, over the next two minutes. Brasfield hit a three on the wing for a 72-71 Monmouth lead and then he scored on the next possession for a 3-point lead. Brasfield scored again for a personal 7-0 run and a 76-71 Monmouth lead. Williams scored again and Metcalf made three out of four free throws for an 81-72 Scots lead in the final minute. Monmouth pushed the lead to 11 with free throws from Williams before Eureka hit a 3-pointer on their final possession.
Brasfield topped his previous career high of 20 points with 27 on 10-of-16 shooting. Williams had 20 points with 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and Metcalf had a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double. Metcalf scored 15 of his points in the second half and was 7-for-8 at the free throw line down the stretch. Brasfield led the Scots with three assists while Metcalf had three steals and two blocks.
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: The Scots are 6-5 in season openers under Coach Skrivseth. The Scots lost 55% of their scoring from last year but return two of the top three scorers in Metcalf (14.7 ppg) and Brasfield (10.9). After giving up 7-of-15 shooting from deep in the first half, Monmouth held Eureka to 1-of-4 in the second half. Monmouth forced 17 turnovers and scored 12 fast-break points. Plumer and Taylor made their college debuts while Hill and Williams made their Monmouth debuts as transfers. The Scots outscored Eureka 18-5 at the free throw lineMonmouth is 30-10 all-time against Eureka, 6-4 under Skrivseth. The Red Devils won the matchup 94-68 last season in Eureka and the Scots won the last meeting in Glennie Gym 83-71 on Nov. 15, 2019. The teams will play again in Eureka on Dec. 19. The Scots head to Carlinville, Illinois to play Blackburn College at 3 pm on Saturday. The next home game is Monday at 7 pm against Central Christian College of the Bible. Monmouth will play six home games in November.
***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***