The ASA men's basketball squad avenged two earlier defeats to Monroe with a thrilling 77-74 win in New Rochelle, New York, Tuesday evening.
Spearheaded by Miguel Simon's double-double, the Avengers (6-11) used a balanced attack and were able to notch the victory over their conference rival.
"They all played very well," noted head coach Devonne Martinez. "The team was very, very unselfish."
Martinez should be proud of an Avengers squad that halted a three-game losing skid and are starting to look like a team starting to gel – even without the services of forward Devere Creighton, who is likely out for the season with a knee injury. Creighton is leading the squad with 13.8 rebounds per game to go along with 14.9 points per game and 50-percent shooting from the field. His contributions will be missed, especially considering the 6-foot-6 Brooklyn, New York native registered a game-high 21 rebounds in his final appearance of the season, last Friday evening.
Creighton's loss is definitely a blow to an Avengers team that Martinez hopes is starting to figure it out, but the way Simon and his teammates picked up the slack in their power forward's absence is a great sign for ASA.
Simon had game highs in both points (20) and rebounds (16, five offensive) and is now averaging 12.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Look for his numbers to spike as he'll be looked upon to take on more of a leadership role without his running mate and be expected to up his averages, especially on the glass.
Martinez is banking on Simon to further carry the load, especially on the low blocks.
"We definitely need to do something for Miguel," said Martinez, who was eager to showcase the 6-foot-9 forward from the Dominican Republic. "He played like a monster against Monroe."
Simon wasn't alone in knocking off the Mustangs, as every Avenger starter registered double digits in scoring. Guard Mike Watson added 14 points (three 3s), while guard Denzel Wilson (eight assists) and swingman Carlos Dune (five rebounds, one steal, and one block) added 10 points each, respectively. Guard John Grimsley (five rebounds and two steals) rounded out the starters' scoring with 10 points.
Overall, the Avengers registered 38 rebounds and 11 steals to keep Monroe at arm's length. They'll look to extend that performance in their next game, at Community College of Rhode Island, on Saturday.