WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ -- Austin Tilghman scored a game-high 20 points to lead two-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Monmouth past Siena Basketball 67-56 at the OceanFirst Bank Center. Sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers led three Saints in double figures with 12 points.
Deion Hammond added 17 points for Monmouth (6-13, 2-5) which has captured eight of 10 meetings between the programs since the Hawks joined the MAAC in 2013-14, including all five on the Jersey Shore. Louie Pillari chipped in with 10 points off the bench for Monmouth which held decided advantages in both points in the paint (28-10) and points off turnovers (22-5).
Junior forward Evan Fisher and freshman guard Jordan Horn rounded out the double figure scorers for Siena (6-16, 2-7) which shot just 33% from the field including only 25% (6-24) in the second half. Freshman guard Roman Penn added career-highs of 10 rebounds and two blocks to go along with seven points and three assists for the Saints which created 17 second chance points off 17 offensive rebounds.
Both teams put together sizeable first half runs as an early 13-1 Siena spurt was immediately answered by 11 straight points from the Hawks. The squads played to three ties and exchanged nine lead changes over the opening 20 minutes as the Saints took a 30-29 lead at the break.
But Monmouth scored nine of the first 11 points to open the second half and reclaim the lead for good. The Hawks held Siena without a field goal for 7:06 down the stretch in building as much as a 13-point advantage with 4:53 to play.
The Saints return to the Capital Region to close out their January slate Monday when they host Saint Peter's at the Times Union Center at 7 p.m.