WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Jesus Cruz’s running floater in the paint with 2.1 seconds left gave Fairfield a 79-78 victory over Monmouth on Friday night.
With 9.1 seconds left and Fairfield inbounding from Monmouth’s end, Cruz took a pass just inside halfcourt and drove to the hoop where he split two defenders to put in a soft one-hander. A hurried 3-pointer by Monmouth’s Deion Hammond was short at the buzzer.
Cruz finished with 13 points. Tyler Nelson made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points with Ferron Flavors Jr. adding 10 points and Jonathan Kasibabu nine points and nine rebounds for the Stags (9-13, 4-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Association), who have won two straight with an overtime victory over Iona on Monday.
Zac Tillman scored 18 points, Ray Salnave 16, Austin Tilghman 14 with nine assists and Hammond 10 points for the Hawks (7-15, 3-7).
There were 11 lead changes and eight ties.