NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Monroe Mustangs didn’t get their men’s basketball season off on the right foot in their home-opening Monroe Tip-off Classic this past weekend at the MAC. On Thursday in both the tournament and their season’s first game, Monroe was defeated by Central Florida 77-63 and on Friday evening in about as difficult a loss as you could imagine, they dropped to Baltimore City 69-68 in two OT’s.
While CCF simply outplayed Monroe, the loss to Baltimore had to sting, especially since Monroe’s Ran Tut was on the line for two shots, down by a point with just over a second left. He made only one of two, forcing a the first overtime.
With both teams losing three players to fouls in the back-and-forth, at times bruising affair, Monroe did have chances to win through the second-half crunch time and the extra periods.
“We definitely have to do a better job of decision-making with the ball,” said Coach Jeff Brustad after the game. “But we also missed some free throws and didn’t knock down some easy layups which could have turned the game for us,” he said.
Sophomore forward Keith Harris was the Mustangs’ high man in the CCF game with 15 points. Sophomore point guard Thomas Rivera chipped in 13 and had five assists.
In the Baltimore game, freshman Will Tavares had 13 points and Rivera had 12 with 3 assists and 3 steals.
Monroe will host an invitational at the MAC next weekend, November 15-16.
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