HJC (8-6) belittled itself by shooting just 22 of 69 (32 percent) for the game. The Hawks ineffective rebounding, especially on the offensive boards, made most trips one shot or a turnover.
The Hawks' lack of big men became evident as the game wore on. Three HJC players have been ruled academically ineligible and James Stokes was finishing out a weekend suspension, which cut the Hawks' depth thin. The result:
- Devon Wade pulled down 23 of HJC's 44 rebounds.
- Wade and Ryan Saunders combined for 11 of HJC's 22 baskets.
- James Morse and DeWayne Jacobs, who combined for 32 points in the second half of HJC's 84-75 win over Fashion Institute on Friday, were a combined 2 for 16 in the second half.
- And Wade with 21 points and Saunders with 18 points - all on 3-point shots - accounted for 58 percent of HJC's offense, 39 of its 67 points.
"We can't do much more than remember to box out on every shot," Brown said. "We have to execute our offense now every time we go down the floor. We have to go down and get the best shot possible. We haven't been able to recognize that yet."
The teams battled through 10 ties and 16 lead changes until Monroe (9-7) took control in the final five minutes.
Guards Terrell Mackey and Issiah Francis took control of the ball and broke a 64-64 tie with penetration which created easy baskets for the Mustangs in the game-ending 8-3 run. Meanwhile, HJC managed only three free throws in the same stretch.
"We have to learn to be able to live with success," Brown said. "We pulled out a big win (Friday) and we were too confident tonight. We just didn't play well."