NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Monroe College Men's Basketball team finished 2-1 at the Chipola College Classic in Marianna, Florida over the weekend. After dropping the opener to Gulf Coast State College, the Mustangs rebounded with an 86-85 win over Chipola and a 79-75 victory against Macomb Community College in overtime.
Hampus Ahlin, Jarron Chapman, and Tyler Ancrum led the offense against Chipola, who entered the game with a 13-1 record. Ahlin posted a season-high 26 points and six assists on 9-of-16 shooting. Ancrum added ten, while Chapman contributed 11.
Dani Koljanin opened scoring with a three-pointer. Felix Carlsson got the advantage to six points with a bucket at 18:15. Monroe maintained the lead until the 9:35 mark, when a three-pointer put Chipola up by two points. From there, the Mustangs responded with an 8-0 run to take a 31-23 lead. The run was capped by a Mouhamadou Gueye layup. A Chapman free throw brought the lead as high as 12 points with 3:50 left, but Chipola tied the game at halftime, 43-43.
The beginning of the second half saw the Mustangs turn a 43-43 draw into a 59-49 lead. The 16-6 scoring run saw Carlsson total seven points and Koljanin account for four. Ancrum made a three-pointer, and Gueye and Donald Butler added a basket each. Chipola fought back and eventually tied the score at 68-68 with 7:30 left.
The game was back-and-forth the rest of the way, with neither side taking command. Trailing by one with less than a minute remaining, Ahlin buried a three-pointer and put Monroe ahead by two, 84-82. The Indians tied the game, but Koljanin iced the victory with a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds.
The team returned with a 79-75 overtime victory over Macomb on Sunday. Koljanin had a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Bryan Assie shot 6-8 for 15 points. Ahlin scored 12 points, and Chapman had 11.
Monroe fell behind by seven points in the first 7:21 of game time. Consecutive buckets from Koljanin and Assie cut the deficit to three. The Mustangs got within a point in the first half, but trailed at the break, 36-32.
A Koljanin jumper at 14:31 gave Monroe its first lead of the game, 44-43. Macomb regained the lead and got it up to six points before another Koljanin bucket put the Mustangs ahead, 67-66, with 1:17 left. Macomb eventually tied the game at 70-all, forcing overtime.
A three-point play from Ahlin in overtime put Monroe up five and helped seal the win. Koljanin made a couple of free throws late in the game as well.
The Monroe College Men's Basketball team improved to 11-6 with the triumphs. The team will return to action on Tuesday, January 10th, against ASA College in Brooklyn.