LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Justin Robinson had a record-breaking tournament — scoring an AdvoCare Invitational record 77 points over three games.
Robinson made five 3-pointers and scored 27 points on Sunday to help Monmouth beat USC 83-73 in the third-place game.
“I give the credit to my teammates and coaches,” Robinson said. “They gave me the ball and gave me the confidence. I just found a way to put the ball in the bucket.”
USC’s Nikola Jovanovic made two free throws to pull within 73-70, but Robinson responded with a 3-pointer to put Monmouth up 76-70 with 55 seconds remaining. Seaborn made it an 11-point game with a 3-point play with 28 seconds left.
“He’s a tremendous offensive player,” USC coach Andy Enfield said of Robinson.
Monmouth went 2-1 in the tourney, including the school’s first-ever win over a Top 25 team, a 70-68 victory Thursday over Notre Dame. The Hawks also won a road game at UCLA in overtime earlier this season.
“It’s very exciting, but we expected to get to this point at some point,” Monmouth coach King Rice said. “We weren’t sure when it was going to happen. It probably took longer than I thought it was going to take when I got the job five years ago.”
Micah Seaborn added 20 points, and Deon Jones had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Monmouth (4-2).
Robinson had 10 points in the first half to help Monmouth rally from an early six-point deficit to go up 38-29 at halftime.
USC (5-2) was paced by Julian Jacobs with 19 points. Bennie Boatwright added 16 points and nine rebounds. Jordan McLaughlin, who sat out the second half of Friday’s game against No. 23 Xavier due to a broken nose, played with protective guard. He had five points and five assists.
“We missed over 10 layups, we missed free throws, we were 3 for 21 from the 3-point line and most of those looks were just clean looks,” Enfield said. “We could not put the ball in the basket today.”
Seaborn hit a 3 as Monmouth extended its lead to 51-37 early in the second half.
After trailing by 14, USC got back within 68-64 on Jacobs’ layup with 4 minutes to go. But Collin Stewart answered with a 3-pointer and Jones’ dunk with 1:41 left made it 73-68.
The two teams met earlier this season, with USC beating the Hawks 101-90 on Nov. 16.
USC: It was the first time since 1967 that the Trojans played the same opponent twice in the same season within the first seven games.
Monmouth: This was the first time this season the Hawks led at the half.
Monmouth made 12 of 30 3-pointers with four from Seaborn.
“To come out here and get two wins, it’s big,” Robinson said. “It gives us momentum going into next weekend. We can’t let it get to our heads, and understand that we still haven’t accomplished anything yet.”
USC: Plays at UC Santa Barbara Thursday night.
Monmouth: Opens the MAAC season Friday night at Canisius.
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