Jesse Steele scored 18 points -- including five in a 13-second span in the final minute -- to help Monmouth secure a 65-60 non-conference victory over visiting Lafayette on Monday in West Long Branch, N.J. With the Hawks holding a shaky 59-55 lead, Steele hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining. He added two free throws with 44 seconds left to give Monmouth a 65-58 advantage. Guard Andrew Nicholas also scored 18 points as Monmouth (4-3) won its third straight. Seth Hinrichs collected 15 points and Tony Johnson added 14 for the Leopards (1-6), who suffered their fifth straight loss. Playing at their home Multipurpose Activity Center following five straight road games, the Hawks broke a 30-30 second-half tie on a Nicholas layup. That ignited a 20-6 run, and Monmouth opened a 50-36 lead with 7:08 to play. Lafayette replied with a 19-9 surge behind a pair of 3-pointers from Joey Ptasinski, another from Johnson and a dunk and jumper by Hinrichs that trimmed the deficit to four with 2:05 to play. The Leopards got no closer. Lafayette resumes action Wednesday at home against Delaware, while Monmouth is idle until playing next Monday at Binghamton.
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