MOUNT ST. MARY'S (2-10) vs. ALBANY (7-6)
Saturday, December 31, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
Knott Arena, Emmitsburg, Md.
Mount St. Mary's rounds out the non-conference schedule against Albany on New Year's Eve at Knott Arena. The Mountaineers are coming off a 49-42 win over American on Thursday afternoon.
The Mount made all the key plays down the stretch to earn the win on Thursday. Xavier Owens skied for a tip-in off a Josh Castellanos missed three-pointer with 1:48 left to give the Mount the lead. After American tied the game with a free throw, Julian Norfleet drove the lane and converted a tough right-handed shot for a 44-42 advantage with 1:05 left.
The Mount got a block from Raven Barber on the defensive end and Castellanos was fouled and hit 1-of-2 at the line for a 45-42 lead. Barber rebounded the missed free throw and Castellanos was fouled again, and he hit both for a five-point lead. Barber then drew a charge and Castellanos again his two free throws to seal the 49-42 victory.
Castellanos finished with 15 points and five boards to pace the Mount while Norfleet added 10 in the victory. Norfleet is the Mount's top scorer this season at 10.8 points per game while Barber is averaging 9.2 points on the season.
The Mount defense has been stingy of late, allowing just 56.0 points over the past four games and a paltry 43.5 points per game over the past two contests. The Mount has held the last two opponents to 45 points or less, the first time the team has done that since the first two games of the 1949-50 season.
Albany (7-6) is coming of an 83-72 loss to Maryland on Wednesday night. Gerardo Suero led the way with 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the losing effort. Suero, who has recorded 20 or more points in five consecutive games, is averaging 21.5 points and 5.1 rebounds on the season while Logan Aronhalt is second on the team with 15.0 points and 4.8 boards. The Great Danes are 4-0 at home, but are 1-6 on the road and 0-2 at a neutral site this year.
The Mountaineers return to Northeast Conference play with a two-game road trip to face Monmouth (Jan. 5) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Jan. 7) to start the New Year.