It's a light Monday on the schedule following four games involving six teams on Sunday. Seton Hall recovered from a sluggish performance in the season opener to knock off Monmouth at the MAC 87-72 with Jeremy Hazell and Herb Pope leading the way. Fairleigh Dickinson went on the road and fell to Wichita State 80-64, but with the Shockers expected to be one of the better teams in the Missouri Valley this wasn't much of a surprise.
To the surprise of no one, the Illinois Fighting Illini have defeated the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars at opening night at Assembly Hall. As had been surmised by many, the new rotation featured a healthy dose of talented freshman guards D.J. Richardson and reigning Mr. Basketball in Illinois, Brandon Paul who both started and played 20 and 29 minutes respectfully.
There were five games on the schedule involving teams from the New York metropolitan area, including the debut of James Beatty and a few other talented newcomers at the RAC in Rutgers' 74-67 win over Marist. But the man of the day for the Scarlet Knights was sophomore Patrick Jackson. Seldom-used as a freshman, the Brooklyn native continued to build on his play in Spain with a 15-point, 7-rebound performance in the win. Mike Rosario led Rutgers with seventeen points and Gregory Echinique added a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds).
The talk heading into FIU's trip to West Long Branch surrounded the return to the area of Isiah Thomas and the first regular season game at the MAC. The arena didn't disappoint and neither did the Hawks, who unleashed a second-half clinic in their 99-70 win over the Panthers in front of a sellout crowd. The only who didn't score for Dave Calloway's team was Dutch Gaitley and Monmouth had a stellar thirty-one assists on thirty-eight field goals. Four players scored in double figures with Travis Taylor's eighteen leading the way.
Following the first major night of college basketball people have to take notice of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and not simply because of defending champion Siena. The Saints took care of business, leading by as many as thirty-five in their 85-69 at Tennessee State but a talking point for Fran McCaffrey's team will likely be the 29 turnovers they racked up. Clarence Jackson led all scorers with twenty-four while Alex Franklin went for 19 points and 14 rebounds. O.D. Anosike was the only player who played double-digit minutes who didn't have multiple turnovers for the Saints.
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