NEW YORK -- Jesse Steele scored 20 points, including nine in a row during a second-half comeback that lifted Monmouth (N.J.) to a 71-67 victory over St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday night in a Northeast Conference game.
Two free throws by Steele put the Hawks (7-11, 2-3) ahead to stay, 46-44, after they trailed 33-26 at halftime and 41-35 with 15:24 remaining. The senior guard added a layup for a four-point lead, hit a jumper after a St. Francis free throw, then sank a 3-pointer to make it 53-45 with 9:45 left.
Monmouth's lead reached 59-47 at the 7:45 mark on Khalil Brown's dunk, but the Terriers (7-9, 3-2) rallied to within 70-67 on Travis Nichols' 3-pointer at the 10-second mark. Dion Nesbitt added a free throw for Monmouth's final margin.
Florida State has announced that Xavier Rathan-Mayes will return to the court for his junior season. The 6-foot-4 guard declared for the NBA draft last month but did not hire an agent.
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