Emmitsburg, Md. (March 1, 2017)--Junior Robinson made the key plays down the stretch to lead top-seeded Mount St. Mary's past eighth-seeded Sacred Heart, 76-73, in the Northeast Conference Quarterfinals at Knott Arena on Wednesday night. Robinson finished with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in the victory.
With the score tied 67-67, Robinson drilled a three-pointer with 2:10 remaining to give the Mountaineers a three-point lead. After Sacred Heart's Joseph Lopez scored in the paint, Robinson made a nifty pass to Chris Wray for a lay-up for a 72-69 advantage with 1:30 remaining.
Sacred Heart (13-19) cut the deficit to 72-71 on a pair of Quincy McKnight free throws with 1:13 remaining, but Robinson countered with a clutch pull-up jumper from the left elbow with 51.5 seconds on the clock to make it 74-71. The Mount (17-15) got a stop on the next possession, but turned the ball over in transition, and De'Von Barnett was fouled with 20.5 seconds on the clock. He missed the free throw, but tipped away the ball from the Mount's Miles Wilson on the rebound, and then scored in the paint to make it 74-73.
Robinson was then fouled with 14.9 seconds remaining, and he hit 1-of-2 at the line to give the Mount a 75-73 lead. The Pioneers brought the ball up the court, but Robinson forced Sacred Heart's Sean Hoehn into a contested deep three-point attempt that was an airball. The Mount got the ball with 1.5 seconds remaining, and Wray was fouled and had two shots. He hit the first, and missed the second, and Barnett's desperation heave was short, and the Mountaineers came away with the victory.
Robinson went 7-of-16 from the field and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc en route to his 22-point night. Elijah Long added 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals while Wray added 11 points, five boards, three assists and a pair of blocks for the Mount. Freshman Miles scored all 10 of his points in the second half to give the Mountaineers four players in double figures in the game.
McKnight led Sacred Heart with 19 points while Barnett added a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Lopez chipped in 17 points and seven boards in the loss.
The Mount opened the second half with a 10-to-4 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 47-38, with 16:02 remaining. Wilson, who had five points during the run, hit a three-pointer to cap the streak.
The Pioneers responded with a 19-to-5 run to take a 57-52 advantage with 10:27 left in the game. Lopez started the run with back-to-back buckets while a Hoehn three-pointer off a scramble gave Sacred Heart a 53-52 lead. After a Lopez free throw, Matej Buovac drained a three-pointer to push the lead to five.
A Barnett lay-up with 8:38 gave Sacred Heart a 61-56 advantage before the Mount rallied. Elijah Long scored in the paint, Robinson added a free throw, and Long hit two more free throws to even the score at 61-61 with 7:40 on the clock. After a Barnett three-point play, the Mount's Greg Alexander hit a corner three to tie the game with 5:49 left. Barnett scored in the paint on the next possession, but Wilson hit a clutch three-pointer to put the Mount ahead, 67-66, with 4:53 on the clock. Barnett hit 1-of-2 at the line to tie the score, and set up the late-game stretch.
Mount St. Mary's shot 27-of-55 (.491) from the field in the win, hitting 11-of-23 (.478) from three-point range. Sacred Heart shot 52.7 percent from the field, but was just 3-of-14 (.214) from beyond the arc.
Robinson led the charge early in the game for the Mount, scoring nine of the Mount's first 19 points to spur the Mount to a 19-13 advantage midway through the first half. A Wray basket gave the Mount an eight-point lead at 27-19, and the Mount maintained that lead when Long hit a three-pointer with 1:56 left in the first half for a 37-29 advantage. The Pioneers were able to score the final five points of the half to cut the deficit to 37-34 at the break.
The Mount will host either seventh-seeded Robert Morris in the NEC Tournament semifinals at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, at Knott Arena. For tickets, please contact the Mount Ticket Office at 301-447-5700.
GAME NOTES: Mount St. Mary's improves to 25-16 all-time in the NEC Tournament, including 7-3 during head coach Jamion Christian's tenure...The Mount is 14-6 in the NEC Quarterfinals, including 8-2 at home...The Mount is now 3-0 all-time against Sacred Heart in the NEC Tournament.