Loretto, Pa. (January 13, 2018)—Junior Robinson's lay-up with 14 seconds left in overtime lifted Mount St. Mary's to an 81-80 victory over Saint Francis U on Saturday afternoon at DeGol Arena. In a rematch of last year's Northeast Conference Championship game won by the Mount, 71-61, Robinson tallied a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists in the win.
Saint Francis (10-7, 4-2 NEC) took the early lead in overtime when Jamaal King converted a traditional three-point play for a 78-75 lead. The Red Flash then intentionally fouled the Mount's Chris Wray, who entered the game 6-for-30 at the line on the season. Wray foiled that plan by hitting both free throws to cut the deficit to one. Both teams then went cold from the field before Wray scored in the paint on a feed from Donald Carey to give the Mount a 79-78 advantage with 1:31 on the clock.
On the ensuing possession, Malik Harmon scored on a drive to the basket to give Saint Francis an 80-79 advantage. The Mount's Greg Alexander then missed a three-pointer, but Wray came up with a big offensive rebound to keep possession.
The Mount (10-9, 4-2 NEC) got the ball to Robinson, the Mount's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game, at the top of the key, and he converted a drive to the basket that gave the Mount the lead. Saint Francis had a two chances to earn the win, but Keith Braxton's three-point attempt, and Andre Wolford's jumper, were both off the mark.
Wray finished the game with a career-high 22 points while adding eight rebounds and a pair of steals. Robinson was 8-of-13 from the field for his 20 points while his 10 assists gave him his second career double-double. Jonah Antonio hit five three-pointers for 15 points while Carey added 11 points and eight assists.
King led Saint Francis U with 31 points while Wolford added 19 points and seven rebounds. The Mount limited Braxton, Saint Francis' leading scorer at 18.4 points per game, to eight points on 1-of-8 shooting while also forcing him into nine turnovers.
The Mount rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to force overtime. King scored 15 points in the first seven minutes of the second half to stretch a 30-28 halftime lead to 53-42 with 13:06 remaining. Mount St. Mary's used a 10-to-2 run to get back into the game, with Antonio hitting a pair of three-pointers during the run that was capped by a Wray dunk.
Saint Francis was able to push the lead back to seven, 61-54, with 8:41 remaining, but the Mount responded with a Wray dunk, and three-pointers by Carey and Antonio to grab a 62-61 advantage. From there, the teams traded big baskets with Robinson hitting a jumper with 2:40 on the clock for a 69-67 Mount lead. Wolford hit a pair of free throws, but Wray scored in the paint off a Robinson pass for a 71-69 lead with 1:49 on the clock.
Braxton then converted a three-pointer from the right corner to give Saint Francis the lead, and after a Mount miss, King hit two free throws for a 74-71 lead with 30 seconds remaining. Robinson answered with a lay-up, and King hit 1-of-2 at the line for a 75-73 Red Flash lead with 13 seconds on the clock.
Alexander was then fouled on a three-point attempt with 6.2 seconds left in regulation, and the senior hit 2-of-3 at the line to knot the game at 75-75. King's three-pointer at the buzzer was short, and the game was extended to overtime.
The Mountaineers shot 53.3 percent in the game, including 19-of-27 (.704) in the second half. The Mount was also 11-of-29 (.379) from three-point range. Saint Francis shot 44.3 percent in the game, and was 9-of-31 (.290) from beyond the arc.
The Mountaineers came out of the gates strong, scoring the first seven points of the contest. Wray converted back-to-back buckets on the pick-and-roll, and Bobby Planutis added a three-pointer to make it 7-0. The Red Flash fought back on a pair of Wolford three-pointers, but the Mount held an 11-8 lead after a Robinson bucket with 13:04 left in the half.
Saint Francis went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-11 advantage, but the Mount countered to tie the score at 21-21 on back-to-back baskets by Ryan Gomes. The Red Flash answered with a Malik Harmon three-pointer, and held a 30-25 lead after a pair of Braxton free throws with 1:02 on the clock. The Mount had the last possession, and Robinson was able to drain a long three-pointer from straight away to cut the deficit to 30-28 at the half.
The Mount just 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the floor in the first half, including 4-of-14 (.286) from three-point range. The Red Flash shot 44.0 percent (11-of-25) while going 4-of-13 (.308) from beyond the arc.
The Mount has now won six in a row against the Red Flash, and are 23-3 over the past 26 meetings between the two teams.
The Mount is back in action on Thursday, January 18, with a 7:00 p.m. matchup at St. Francis Brooklyn.