Emmitsburg, Md. (March 4, 2017)—Elijah Long scored 22 points to lead top-seeded Mount St. Mary's past seventh-seeded Robert Morris, 75-66, in the Northeast Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon before a raucous crowd a Knott Arena. With the win, the Mountaineers advance to the NEC Championship game for the seventh time since joining the NEC in 1989-90.
With the Mount leading 65-64, Long drained a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key with the shot clock running down and the game clock at 50 seconds remaining to give his team a four-point lead. Robert Morris guard Clive Allen was fouled on the ensuing possession, and he hit both free throws with 43 seconds on the clock to make it a two-point game.
Robert Morris (14-19) then fouled the Mount's Chris Wray on the inbounds. Wray, who entered the game shooting 30.3 percent at the foul line, buried both free throws to give the Mount (18-15) a 70-66 advantage. Robert Morris' Matty McConnell missed a three-pointer on the next possession, Long corralled the rebound, and fed Junior Robinson for a fast-break lay-up with 24 seconds left to make it a six-point game. After another three-point miss by the Colonials, Long sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 16 seconds on the clock.
Long, a First Team All-NEC selection this year as a sophomore, finished the game with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Robinson, a Second Team All-NEC pick for the second consecutive year, added 18 points while Mawdo Sallah chipped in 12 points and six rebounds in the victory. Wray added eight points and six boards with freshman Miles Wilson finishing with seven points and eight rebounds in the game.
McConnell led RMU with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds with Isaiah Still also adding 19 points.
The Mountaineers shot 51.9 percent from the field in the game while holding a 35-to-29 edge on the boards. Robert Morris shot 43.6 percent from the field, but was 13-of-22 (.591) at the charity stripe.
With the score tied 21-21 after a Wray lay-up with 9:19 left in the opening half, the Colonials went on a 15-to-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 35-26, with 3:36 left in the half. McConnell scored five consecutive points on a three-pointer and a tip-in, and after a Long free throw, Isaiah Still scored in the paint to make it 28-22. A Braden Burke dunk and a Still bucket in the paint pushed the RMU advantage to nine. The Mount got back into the game with a Robinson jumper and a Greg Alexander three-pointer to make it 35-31 at the half.
Mount St. Mary's advances to the NEC Championship game for the seventh time since joining the league in 1989-90, but this will be the first time the Mount has hosted the title game. Mount St. Mary's won the championship in 1995, 2008 and 2014 on the road, and in 1999 at a neutral site.
The Mount Ticket Office will be open on Sunday, March 5, from 10 am – 5 pm. For ticket information, call 301-447-5700.