Emmitsburg, Md. (January 12, 2017)--Mount St. Mary's closed the game with a 7-0 run behind several key plays from Elijah Long to post a 77-70 win over Fairleigh Dickinson at Knott Arena on Thursday night. Long had three points, two steals, an assist and drew a charge in the final 1:07 to lead the Mountaineers to victory.
After Fairleigh Dickinson rallied from an eight-point deficit with 6:24 remaining to tie the score at 70-70, the Mount (6-12, 4-1 NEC) answered with Long playing the key role down the stretch. The game-winning 7-0 run started when Mawdo Sallah tipped away a post pass to Long, who drove the length of the court to break the tie with 1:07 remaining.
Long then tipped away an Earl Potts, Jr., pass, and then led a 2-on-1 fast break that was finished by Junior Robinson to make it a four-point game. On the ensuing possession, Long drew an offensive foul on FDU's Stephan Jiggetts with 24.3 seconds on the clock. Robinson was fouled on the inbounds, and he sank both free throws with 20 seconds left to push the Mount lead to 76-70. Long came up with another steal and was fouled, and he hit 1-of-2 at the line to close out the win.
Long finished the game with 14 points, a career-high 12 assists, seven rebounds and five steals for his first career double-double. His 12 assists are the most by a Mount player since Riley Inge had 12 against Wagner on January 18, 1994. His points-assists double-double is the first by a Mount player since Julian Norfleet had 17 points and 11 assists against Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 30, 2014.
Greg Alexander, starting in place of freshman Miles Wilson who was out with an illness, led the Mountaineers with a career-high 19 points. Alexander scored 16 points in the first half to spark the Mount to a 43-28 lead at the break. The junior finished the game 7-for-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from three-point range.
Darian Anderson paced Fairleigh Dickinson (6-10, 4-1 NEC) with 24 points while Mike Holloway added 18 points and seven rebounds.
Mount St. Mary's shot 57.1 percent (28-of-49) in the game, including 8-of-19 (.421) from beyond the arc. The Mount had 22 assists on its 28 baskets. Fairleigh Dickinson shot 44.4 percent overall and had six assists compared to 20 turnovers in the contest.
Leading 11-to-7 early in the game, the Mountaineers rattled off a 14-to-4 run to take a 25-to-12 advantage. Alexander started the run with a three-pointer, followed by buckets from Wray and Sallah on feeds from Long. After an FDU free throw, Alexander scored on a drive ahead of a Jiggetts basket. Gomes continued the run with a dunk on a fee from Robinson. After another Jiggetts bucket, Alexander capped the run with another three-pointer to give the Mount a 13-point advantage.
Mount St. Mary's continued to surge, with Alexander slamming home an alley-oop pass from Robinson and Long adding a pair of free throws to make it 31-to-16. Long nailed a three-pointer to put the Mount ahead 37-to-22, and then fed Gomes for a bucket on a pick-and-roll. Charles Glover's free throw with 2:23 left in the first half gave the Mount its biggest lead of the game at 40-22. FDU cut the Mount lead to 43-to-28 at the break.
Mount St. Mary's shot 16-of-29 (.552) from the field in the first half while recording 13 assists. The Knights were held to 7-of-23 shooting (.304) while committing 10 first-half turnovers.
FDU quickly cut into the Mount lead, cutting to eight just four minutes into the second half. The Mountaineers were able to respond, pushing the advantage to 58-45 on a Junior Robinson three-pointer.
FDU's Anderson then scored seven points during a 9-to-2 run that cut the Mount lead to 60-54. Mount St. Mary's countered, and held a 68-to-60 lead after a Wray fast-break bucket on a pass from Long with 6:24 left in the game.
FDU then went on a 10-to-2 run to even the score. Holloway scored six points during the run, including a steal and a breakaway lay-up that tied the game with 2:45 left. The Mount then came up with six defensive stops in a row to earn the win.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Saturday, January 14, when Saint Francis U visits Knott Arena for a 4:00 p.m. matchup.
Game Notes: The Mount is now in a three-way tie with LIU Brooklyn and Fairleigh Dickinson for first place in the Northeast Conference with a 4-1 league record…The Mount has wins over both LIU and FDU this season…Mount St. Mary's has five of its next seven games at home.