The Monmouth College men’s basketball team picked up their first win of the season as they held on for a thrilling 94-92 home victory over Concordia-Chicago. Playing at home for the first time this season, the Scots (1-2) held off a frantic Cougars comeback attempt in the final minute to win by two.
Monmouth’s first four points came from Jordan Hill (Chicago, Illinois) before CUC scored the next eight. Kyle Taylor (Moline, Illinois) hit a pair of 3-pointers and the game was tied at 16. Taylor buried another 3-pointer for a 19-18 Monmouth lead before the Cougars hit two straight 3-pointers. After a tie at 26, CUC led 30-26 and pushed the lead to seven, twice late in the first half. Max Maring (Port Byron, Illinois) hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four and Declan Flynn (Monmouth, Illinois) drained a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer with CUC leading 40-37.
The visitors scored the first five points of the second half before Hill, David Williams (Loves Park, Illinois) and Taylor all scored. Taylor hit a 3-pointer to put the Scots on top 49-47, their first lead since 19-18. Turner Plumer (Canton, Illinois) gave the Scots a 53-47 lead and Ganon Greenman (Alpha, Illinois) added two free throws. Greenman scored again for a 59-51 lead and Maring put the Scots up by 10. Hill converted a 4-point play for a 65-53 lead with 10:00 left.
The Cougars hit consecutive 3-pointers but the Scots went back up by 10 when Flynn hit a 3-pointer and Plumer scored four in a row for a 79-65 lead. The Cougars didn’t go away and cut the lead to nine and then six with consecutive 3-pointers. Taylor’s free throws with 1:10 to play gave Monmoutn a 90-82 lead and Hill made it 91-82 with 43 seconds left. CUC hit two more 3-pointers and trailed just 93-88 when Hill split free throws with 12.9 seconds left. The Cougars made a free throw and got a steal before draining a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left. Leading 94-92, the Scots missed two free throws and CUC called timeout with 0.5 seconds left. However, their inbounds pass hit the ceiling and the Scots got the ball inbounds to run out the clock and win 94-92.
Taylor led the Scots with a career-high 22 points while Hill had 15, Plumer had 13 and Williams had 11. Williams also had 11 rebounds for a double-double. Taylor and Plumer both had three assists and Brennen McNally (Paw Paw, Illinois) added two blocks.
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: Williams had his first Monmouth double-double with a career-high 11 rebounds. Taylor was 6-of-9 from 3-point range and the Scots were 12-of-25 as a team. Taylor’s high last season was 19 points and 5 3PM…Monmouth outrebounded CUC 34-29. The teams combined to make 25 3-pointers. The Scots had 40 points off the bench led by Plumer’s 13 and Flynn’s nine. The Scots play at Dubuque at 7 p.m. on FridayThe next home game is next Tuesday against Blackburn.
***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***