Nicholas scores 28, Monmouth beats Hofstra 91-62

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP)—Andrew Nicholas scored a career-high 28 points, and Monmouth (N.J.) scored 50 points in the first half for the first time in almost three years as the Hawks toppled Hofstra 91-62 in both team’s season opener Friday night.

Nicholas backed the Hawks on a pair of scoring runs in the first half of the nonconference game, starting with five points during a 15-3 stretch at the game’s onset. When Hofstra cut Monmouth’s lead to 19-17, Nicholas responded with three consecutive 3-pointers and 11 points during a 19-3 scoring run.

Monmouth reached the half-century mark in the first half for the first time since a Dec. 12, 2009 matchup against Pennsylvania.

The Hawks recorded 17 steals, including four by Jesse Steele, and won the turnover battle 23-14. Steele, the team’s leading scorer last year, had 10 points and six assists.

Stevie Mejia and Shaquille Stokes led Hofstra with 12 points each.

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Updated Friday, Nov 9, 2012