WEST LONG BRANCH — Andrew Nicholas scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead Monmouth (NJ) past Niagara 75-50 on Friday night.

Monmouth (11-19, 5-14 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) used a 21-8 spurt early in the game to open a 25-13 lead midway through the first half. The Hawks later went on a 10-2 run, pushing their lead to 15 with 6:25 left before intermission.

Monmouth led 41-25 at halftime and scored 13 of the first 15 points in the second half to make it 54-27 with 15 minutes to go and led by as many as 32.

Deon Jones added 16 points for the Hawks, who made 26 of 51 field goals and 6 of 10 from 3-point range.

Antoine Mason led Niagara (6-24, 3-16) with 15 points.

The Purple Eagles shot 31 percent from the field and made just 1 of 13 3-pointers. They committed 24 turnovers.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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