Scots Comeback Falls Short in 77-74 Saturday Loss

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The Monmouth College men’s basketball team rallied from 18 down at half but came up just short in a 77-74 home loss to the University of Dubuque on Saturday. The Scots (3-3) got as close as two but their game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the preseason A-R-C favorites escaped with the win.

Dubuque (4-1) started the game on an 8-0 run before David Williams (Loves Park, Illinois) hit a 3-pointer from the wing. Williams made a pair of free throws and Jordan Hill (Chicago, Illinois) made a free throw but Jordan Metcalf (Aledo, Illinois) picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench as the Spartans built a 14-6 lead. A 3-point play by the Spartans gave the visitors a 17-6 lead and a layup put them up 13 with 9;30 left in the half.

Monmouth got on the board down 21-6 as Turner Plumer (Canton, Illinois) made a turnaround jumper in the lane. Kyle Taylor (Moline, Illinois) knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 21-11. Dubuque pushed the lead back to 14 before Williams made two free throws and Jordan HIll (Chicago, Illinois) got in the scoring column. Down 31-18, Williams hit another 3-pointer but the Spartans answered with one of their own. Williams made a free throw but Dubuque finished the half with three straight layups for a 40-22 lead.

Declan Flynn (Monmouth, Illinois) started the second half with a 3-pointer from the right wing. Williams splashed a 3-pointer on the next possession to cut the Dubuque lead to 40-28. Dubuque got a 3-point play before Metcalf scored and Flynn finished at the rim. Dubuque pushed the lead to 49-34 before a 6-0 Scots run with Metcalf and Flynn doing the scoring. Flynn hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut the lead to eight at 51-43.

Taylor’s 3-pointer from in front of the Monmouth bench cut the Dubuque lead to 53-46 before the Spartans got a bucket. Kendall Brasfield (Chicago, Illinois) made a pair of free throws to get the Scots within seven at the 10:00 mark. His fast break dunk on the next possession made the game the closest it had been since 8-4. Dubuque scored six in a row, aided by a flop technical before Taylor drilled a long 3-pointer.

The Spartans scored the next six points to lead 67-53 with 5:40 to play. The next four Monmouth points came from the free throw line as Taylor, Williams and Brasfield each made trips to the charity stripe. Dubuque led 69-57 with 3:00 to play when Brasfield drained a three from in front of the bench. After a Spartans miss, Flynn scored on a driving layup to cut the lead to 69-62 with 1:30 left. Dubuque made three free throws to go back up 10 before Flynn hit a 3-pointer and Brasfield converted on a steal and layup. Down 72-67 with 34 seconds left, the Scots were forced to foul and Dubuque hit both free throws.

Metcalf scored with 21 seconds left. Flynn knocked the ball away on the inbounds pass and Taylor drilled a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to cut the Spartans lead to 74-72. Dubuque made two free throws and Metcalf scored on a put back with 6.2 seconds left. The Spartans had trouble getting the ball in and called a timeout, leading 76-74. Monmouth fouled on the inbounds and the Spartans split the free throws with two seconds left. Monmouth threw the ball to half court where Metcalf picked up the deflected pass but his shot at the buzzer was just off the mark in a 77-74 loss.

Williams led the Scots with 17 points and was one of three players to grab five rebounds. Flynn had 15 points while Taylor had 14. Both Metcalf and Brasfield finished with 10 points and five rebounds with neither scoring in the first half. Hill led the Scots with four assists while Williams and Taylor both had three steals. Metcalf blocked three shots and finished 5-for-7 from the field.

MONMOUTH MOMENTS: These teams hadn’t met since the 2017-18 season and the Spartans are 4-0 all-time against Monmouth with all three games since 2012, Williams has scored at least eight points and made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. Brasfield has at least seven points and one made 3-pointer in every game. Taylor scored a season and career-high 14. Flynn set a new career-high with 15 points. The last time the scots had five players score in double figures in the same game was Feb. 8, 2020 against Grinnell. Metcalf also had three blocks against CCCB on Nov. 16. Metcalf has at least 10 points and five boards in five of the six games this season. The Scots start conference play at home on Tuesday with a 7:30 p.m. game against Lake Forest.

***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***

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