Emmitsburg, Md. (Feb. 23, 2017)--Mount St. Mary's was edged by LIU Brooklyn, 62-58, on Thursday night at Knott Arena in a matchup of the top two teams in the Northeast Conference. Despite the loss, the Mount holds a one-game lead in the NEC standings heading into the final game of the regular season on Saturday.
LIU Brooklyn (19-11, 12-5 NEC) used a late 9-0 run to turn a 52-47 deficit into a 56-52 lead with 2:20 remaining in the game. Jerome Frink hit a pair of free throws to start the run ahead of a Raiquan Clark putback. Iverson Fleming scored in transition to give LIU a 53-52 lead, and a Clark three-point play with 2:20 remaining gave LIU a 56-52 lead.
The Mount's Chris Wray slammed home a dunk on a drive to the basket on the next possession to cut it to 56-54. The Mount got a stop on the defensive end, but Wray missed a free thow with 1:09 left and LIU got possession. The Mount then got a Wray steal, but Junior Robinson missed a contested lay-up and LIU's Nura Zanna grabbed the rebound. Fleming then scored on a drive to the basket to push the lead to 58-54 with 13 seconds on the clock.
The Mount's Robinson hit 1-of-2 at the line to cut it to 58-55 with 10 seconds left, but LIU's Julian van Sauers hit four free throws in the finals seconds to close out the win.
Freshman Miles Wilson led the Mount with 11 points. Robinson added 10 points, six assists and five rebounds while Greg Alexander added 10 points off the bench. Mawdo Sallah hit all four of his shots from the field for eight points with Wray tallying six points, seven rebounds and three steals in the game. Elijah Long added eight points, five rebounds and five assists for the Mount as well.
Fleming led all scorers with 21 points while Zanna added a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The Mount shot 44.2 percent from the floor in the game compared to LIU's 39.2 percent. The Blackbirds held a 39-29 edge on the boards and had advantages in second-chance points (13-7) and fast-break points (13-8).
After Fleming opened the game with a bucket, the Mount rattled off a 12-0 run to take a 12-2 lead five minutes into the game. Alexander hit a pair of three-pointers during the run. A Ryan Gomes lay-up with 11:25 left in the first half gave the Mount an 18-9 lead, but LIU used a 16-to-5 run to take a 25-23 advantage with 28 seconds left in the half. The Mount's Long was able to connect on a three-pointer to give the Mount a 26-25 lead at the break.
The Mount closes out the regular season on Saturday, February 25, with a 4:00 p.m. matchup against St. Francis Brooklyn at Knott Arena. Prior to the game, the Mount will honor seniors Charles Glover, Will Miller and Khalid Nwandu.
Mount St. Mary's (15-15, 13-4 NEC) owns a one-game game lead over LIU Brooklyn in the NEC standings with one game to play. The Mountaineers will clinch the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament with a win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday or an LIU Brooklyn loss at Wagner.
If LIU and the Mount end up tied for the top spot, the Mount will be the No. 1 seed if Saint Francis U defeats Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday. If FDU wins that game, LIU Brooklyn would be the top seed.