Monmouth (NJ) rallies past St. Francis (NY) 79-73

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WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) -- Jesse Steele scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as Monmouth (N.J.) overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat St. Francis (N.Y.) 79-73 Thursday night.

Trailing 36-18, Monmouth (11-19, 9-8 Northeast Conference) finished the first half on an 11-2 run, then opened the second with a 15-5 spurt, capped by a Steele 3-pointer, to lead 44-43 with 14:54 remaining.

The Terriers regained the advantage with Brent Jones' jumper, then Andrew Nicholas scored five straight points to spark an 11-1 run.

With Monmouth leading 77-68 with 29 seconds left, St. Francis (15-13, 12-5) scored five points in the next 21 seconds to cut it to four. Steele then hit two free throws to seal it.

Dion Nesmith and Nicholas added 15 points apiece for the Hawks, who scored 27 points off 21 turnovers.

Ben Mockford had 16 points to lead St. Francis, which beat Monmouth 81-64 on Jan. 12.