Monmouth (8-8, 2/3 Metro Atlantic) took a 35-32 lead into halftime, and then opened the second half on a 10-2 run. The Hawks pulled away in the second half, shooting 60 percent from the field, and led by as many as 22.
Monmouth and Niagara were playing for the first time as conference opponents, with Niagara winning the only previous meeting between the teams in 2008.
Kentucky, Oklahoma State and North Carolina were among teams celebrating the upcoming start of the 2017-18 college basketball season.
A new championship banner at UNC's Dean Smith Center and another appearance by rapper Drake at Kentucky were among the highlights of Midnight Madness-style events across college basketball.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari discusses expectations for this year's team and what it means for Drake to make an appearance at Big Blue Madness.