A 17-5 run to open the second half lifted Monmouth past Mount St. Mary's, 62-56, in Northeast Conference action at Boylan Gymnasium in West Long Branch, N.J., on Saturday night. Chris Vann paced the Mount with 13 points, his 13th straight game in double figures on the season. 7-2 center John Bunch led Monmouth with a career high 23 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
The Mount closed the first half on a 7-2 run, capped by a Will Holland three-pointer at the buzzer, to grab a 29-25 lead at the half. The Hawks, however, opened the second half outscoring Mount St. Mary's (3-11, 2-1 NEC), 17-5, over the first 9:16 to take a 42-34 advantage.
Mount St. Mary's responded to Monmouth's run, cutting the deficit to 49-47 with 5:50 left after a Jeremy Goode lay-up. Monmouth pulled ahead by four, but a Mychal Kearse floater in the lane with 2:53 remaining cut Monmouth's lead to 54-52. Bunch, however, countered with a shot in the lane for a 56-52 lead with 1:39 left in the contest. The Hawks hit free throws the rest of the way to earn the victory.
Bunch was 9-for-13 from the field and hit 5-of-7 at the line for his 23 points. Dejan Delic added 21 points in the win for the Hawks. Vann paced the Mount with 13 points and four boards while freshman Kelly Beidler added 10 points and five rebounds in the loss. It was the fourth straight double-figure game for Beidler.
Monmouth shot 47.8 percent from the floor in the game, but committed 21 turnovers in the game. The Mount shot 42.6 percent, but was just 7-of-24 (.292) from three-point range. Monmouth controlled the boards, outrebounding the Mount 36-25 in the contest.
The Mount returns to action on Monday, Jan. 8, when Sacred Heart visits for a 7:00 p.m. game.