Nicholas leads Monmouth past Tennessee State 81-70

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Andrew Nicholas scored 19 points and dished out six assists to lead Monmouth to an 81-70 win over Tennessee State on Wednesday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Dion Nesmith finished with 13 points for the Hawks (3-3), who have won two straight games. Jesse Steele and Marcus Ware each had 12 points.

Monmouth overcame a strong effort by Tennessee State's Kellen Thornton, who notched a double-double with 27 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out.

Monmouth trailed 30-27 with 3:17 left in the first half. But the Hawks went on an 11-1 run led by Nesmith's two 3-pointers and Steele's three assists to give them a seven-point halftime advantage.

Monmouth never trailed in the second half, pulling ahead by as many as 15 points.

Robert Covington scored 12 points, had six rebounds and six turnovers for the Tigers (1-5). Patrick Miller had 15 points and six assists.