The Monmouth College men’s basketball team used a 16-0 run in the second half to take control of Sunday’s game as they pulled away from Alma College for an 85-56 win. Leading by one at the break, the Fighting Scots (4-5) outscored the Scots 54-26 in the second half for the non-conference win.
Alma jumped out to an early lead with a 3-pointer and built an 8-2 lea. Ganon Greenman (Alpha, Illinois) made a basket and Kyle Taylor (Moline, Illinois) made a jumper. Taylor gave the Fighting Scots a 9-8 lead with a 3-pointer and answered an Alma basket with another floater in the lane. Taylor made another 3-pointer and Jordan Hill (Chicago, Illinois) hit a pair of free throws for a 16-10 lead.
Taylor made another 3-pointer but Alma used an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 19-18. Declan Flynn (Monmouth, Illinois) scored and Jason Huber (Carpentersville, Illinois) made a pair of free throws as the teams traded the lead. Tied a 23 the Scots got a free throw from Hill and a basket from Flynn. Hill’s layup put Monmouth on top 28-23 but Alma scored the next seven points to take a 30-28 lead with just over a minute left in the half. Flynn tied the game with a baseline jumper and Taylor’s free throw gave Monmouth a 31-30 half-time lead.
Alma scored first in the second half to lead 32-31 before Hill scored four straight points in the lane and Flynn converted under the basket. Flynn scored again and Alma hit a 3-pointer for a 37-35 Monmouth lead. The Fighting Scots scored the next 16 points with baskets from Turner Plumer (Canton, Illinois), Flynn, Hill and Huber. Huber’s bucket was a corner 3-pointer that gave the Fighting Scots a 47-35 lead and Hill made a layup to keep the run going.. Greenman made two free throws, as did Hill for a 53-35 lead. Alma made a free throw for their first point in more than seven minutes but Greenman answered with a spinning layup for a 55-36 lead.
Taylor made five free throws in a one-minute span and Monmouth led 60-43 with 7:28 to play. Flynn made a pair of free throws then drilled a 3-pointer for a 65-45 lead before Taylor converted a steal into a layup. Hill scored seven straight points for the Fighting Scots to set a new career-high in scoring as Monmouth pushed the lead to 74-51. Flynn scored in the lane and Max Maring (Port Byron, Illinois) had a steal and assist as Hill’s layup put Monmouth on top 78-51. Junior Sylvestre (Fort Myers, Florida) came off the bench and scored six points in the final minutes, with a pair of layups and a putback on a missed free throw. Oscar Alcobendas (Espartinas, Spain) made a free throw in that run as the Scots won 85-56.
Hill led the Scots with a career-high 24 points while Taylor had 22. Flynn scored 19 points and both Greenman and Sylvestre scored six. Hill and Flynn both had six rebounds while Maring and Huber had five each. Taylor had three streaks to go with two assists.
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: The only other meeting between these two programs came in the 1992-93 season, a 70-63 win for Monmouth. Alma won at Grinnell College 116-102 on Saturday night to start their weekend road trip. Monmouth shot 72% (18-of-25) from the field in the second half. The Fighting Scots scored 42 points in the paint, 20 more than Alma. Taylor has been in double figures six times this season and has scored at least nine points in seven straight games. He’s scored 20 or more in three games this season including two of the last three. Flynn and Hill both set season highs in scoring and Hill set a new career high after netting 17 points last December at Illinois College. Sylvestre had a career-high six points. Alcobendas has scored in two straight games. Fighting Scots are home again on Saturday against Eureka College with a 7 p.m. start.
***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***