By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a tough night for the Cabrini College men’s basketball team on Monday. The Cavaliers saw their six-game winning streak snapped by an outstanding University of Scranton team at Nerney Field House in Radnor, 94-73.

In defeat, Cabrini forward Tyheim Monroe tied for the team lead with 14 points and he led the now 14-9 Cavaliers on the glass with 13 rebounds. This performance was just the latest chapter in what has been an incredible, season-long story for the Olney Charter High School product.

Monroe, who is a true sophomore, is the nation’s leading rebounder in Division III. And it isn’t close. After last night, Monroe is averaging 15.4 rebounds a game, which is about two and a half rebounds more a game than the second-highest player on the list. Once again, this is in the country.

Perhaps even more impressive, Monday night’s double-double for Monroe was his 23rd of the season. That also is the top total in the nation by a lot. The Cavaliers have played 23 games this season, so the math tells you Monroe has had double figure points AND double figure rebounds in every game. Every. Game.

“I’m loving it,” Monroe tells KYW Newsradio, “and hopefully I can keep this streak going as well as helping my team win.”

Listen to the entire interview with Cabrini’s Tyheim Monroe:

 

Cabrini head coach Tim McDonald gives some insight into the emergence of one of the season’s best kept college basketball secrets in the Philadelphia area.

“Coming into this season, I knew he was going to have a good year,” McDonald tells KYW Newsradio. “He went, from the time we recruited him he was a 6-1 guard, to last year as a freshman, was up to 6-5. Over the summer, he lived on campus and worked here and he grew over the summer another three inches up to about 6-8 now (officially listed on the roster at 6-6). And he really got into the weight room and put some extra weight on which has really helped him.”

Listen to the entire interview with Cabrini’s Tim McDonald:

 

That background as a guard is evident when you watch Monroe play. He doesn’t just score around the basket. He displays a consistent perimeter jumper which balances out his offensive game. For the season, he leads the Cavaliers in scoring at 18.4 points a game.

“I had to adapt and learn how to play in the post more,” Monroe says, “when I was usually on the perimeter in high school, and it was a big change for me. But it actually helped me out a lot because now I’m learning how to be in the post and on the perimeter, so it’s all coming together.”

Monroe has three games this season where he has eclipsed the 20-rebound mark. He’s got excellent length, but his rebounding prowess goes beyond size.

“He’s relentless going to the glass on both ends of the floor, the offensive end and the defensive end,” McDonald says. “When he sees a loose ball, he want it in his hands so he’ll go get it. There’s times where he rips it out of guys on our team’s hands, because he sees the ball as a loose ball, he’s got to go get it. The one thing he’s done much better this year, he really gets good positioning. Especially on the defensive end, he gets on the inside position. Then on the offensive end, he reads the shot as it comes off guys hands and he just gets himself into the position, tries to get to the opposite side of where the shot’s taken, where most of the rebounds come off. Then he’ll tip it out to himself at times, but a lot of times he just goes up and grabs it.”

Monroe keeps it simple when asked about the key to his dominance on the glass.

“I really want every rebound I can get,” Monroe says. “So I guess I would say it’s just heart.”

The Cavaliers are 14-9 this season and with a 12-4 record in CSAC action, they have clinched a berth in the conference tournament.

“We’re doing better,” Monroe says. “Because in the beginning of the (season) we beat a very good team, Dickinson. Then after that we were on a rocky road for a minute, then we got it back together. So, so far, I think this season’s going okay, we’ve still got more work to do, though.”

That work continues on Wednesday night when Cabrini visits Neumann University at 8:00pm.