Monmouth ended Iona’s 26-game home winning streak on Friday night with an exciting 110-102 win.
The Gaels have lorded over the MAAC in recent seasons, but Monmouth — with wins over UCLA, USC and Georgetown, as well as a bench mob that has become a national sensation — is the story in the league this season.
Most of what happened on Friday night was posturing, the old “Hold me back so I don’t beat him up” move that we’ve all seen 100 times, but the key moment in this scrum came when Jordan Washington of Iona hits Monmouth’s Chris Brady in the face:
That’s probably going to end up in a suspension.
For what it’s worth, Monmouth’s King Rice does not believe that it was simply a slap.
“Chris’s nose is about this swollen right now,” Rice said afterwards. “If he slaps that hard, he should try MMA. Nobody smacks and then the kid’s nose is this big downstairs right now. I don’t know if it was a smack or what it was, but Brady’s nose is pretty messed up right now.”
The intensity for this game was already there due to the fact that it is the two best teams in the league, but it was ratcheted up by Iona head coach Tim Cluess took a parting shot at the Monmouth bench.
“Are they on the team? I didn’t know if they were on the team or wearing uniforms as cheerleaders,” Cluess said on Thursday. “I’ve never seen them on the court doing anything, so to me, they’re not basketball players.”