Hot Shooting Lifts Monmouth Over Yale

Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)
Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)

Oni Scores 25 Points To Pace Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Austin Tilghman did a little bit of everything to spark a very impressive Monmouth offense on Friday night against Yale. Tilghman posted a triple double, finishing with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists, as the Hawks knocked off the Bulldogs 85-64 before a festive holiday crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Monmouth was effective in all areas. The Hawks shot 55.8 percent from the field overall, were 10-of-16 from three-point range and 17-of-18 from the foul line.

"We didn't pay enough attention to detail on defense," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We have to be a better defensive team. That is the bottom line."

The Hawks, though, certainly had a lot to do with that. Louie Pillari led Monmouth in scoring with 23 points. He did much of his damage from the outside, hitting 9-of-15 shots overall, including 5-of-7 three-pointers. Deion Hammond added 15 points, while Mustapha Traore led the way down low, going 5-of-5 from the field to score 10 points, while also grabbing 10 rebounds.

Miye Oni paced Yale with 25 points. Blake Reynolds scored 12 points and Paul Atkinson added 10.

Atkinson, who leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage, was 4-of-4 from the field. It was his third straight game without missing a shot. He is 8-of-8 during the stretch.

In addition to Makai Mason and Jordan Bruner, the Bulldogs were without Alex Copeland, who suffered an injury in practice on Wednesday.

The game was tied at 22 with eight minutes left in the first half, but Monmouth used an 11-2 run to seize control. By halftime, Hawks' lead was 43-28.

Yale (6-8) made a couple of pushes in the second half, but Monmouth had an answer every time.

The Hawks were 15-of-23 from the field over the final 20 minutes.

Monmouth, which has played a very challenging schedule, has established itself as one of the top mid major programs in the Northeast in recent years. In the last two seasons, the Hawks posted a 55-15 record, including victories over Memphis, Notre Dame and UCLA.

NOTES: This was the first meeting between the teams. They are scheduled to play next year in New Jersey… Two Yale players had to go to a back-up jersey after getting blood on their usual whites. Reynolds wore No. 30, and Atkinson had No. 15 for much of the second half… The players will now head home for a short holiday break before returning to campus next Wednesday for a night practice. The team then heads to Georgia on Thursday and will play at Kennesaw State on Dec. 30.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity