Emmitsburg, Md. (January 12, 2019)--Mount St. Mary's fell at home to Central Connecticut, 77-68, on Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena. Omar Habwe paced the Mount with 17 points while Jalen Gibbs chipped in 14 points in the loss.
The Mount (3-14, 0-4 NEC) came out firing on all cylinders, grabbing a 27-11 lead just past the midway point of the first half. Mount St. Mary's opened the game with a 9-2 run on the strength of three-pointers from Gibbs, Vado Morse and Habwe. After Central Connecticut evened the score at 9-9, the Mount rattled off an 18-to-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 27-11, with 9:04 left in the first half. Gibbs kick-started the run with consecutive three-pointers ahead of a Nana Opoku bucket and a pair of Dee Barnes free throws. After a Central basket, the Mount scored eight more points in a row for the 16-point advantage. Barnes and Damian Chong Qui each hit three-pointers while Morse closed the spurt with a jumper.
Another Morse jumper gave the Mount a 32-17 lead with 5:19 remaining in the opening half, but Central Connecticut was able to close the half on a 9-0 run to make it 32-26 at the break. Deion Bute scored six points while Tyler Kohl chipped in a three-pointer in the scoring spurt.
Central Connecticut cut the Mount's lead to 36-32 early in the second half, but the Mountaineers answered with a 12-to-4 run to take a 48-36 lead with 13:49 remaining. The Mount held a 59-51 advantage with just under nine minutes left after a Collin Nnamane three-point play, but Central Connecticut went on a 14-to-1 run to grab control of the game. Ian Krishan keyed the run, hitting a three-pointer to tie the score at 60-60, adding two free throws to give CCSU the lead, and then a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 65-60 with 5:37 remaining.
The Mount continued to battle, cutting the deficit to 71-68 on a Gibbs three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:41 remaining, but that was as close as the Mount was able to get the rest of the way.
Habwe, coming off his first career double-double in Thursday's loss to Bryant, went 3-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range en route to his team-high 17 points. Gibbs went 4-of-10 from three-point range in the game to finish with 14 points while Chong Qui had another strong outing with 11 points and seven assists. Chong Qui has scored in double figures in each of the past four games for the Mountaineers. Morse stretched his streak of double-figure scoring games to six with 10 points while adding four assists for the Mount. Bute led CCSU (8-9, 2-2 NEC) with 17 points and 11 rebounds while Tyler Kohl added 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Krishnan finished with 13 points and six boards with Joe Hugley tallying 12 points off the bench.
The Mount was 13-of-29 (.448) from three-point range in the game, but was just 15-of-27 (.556) at the foul line. Central Connecticut converted 25-of-30 (.833) at the foul line while shooting 47.9 percent overall.
Mount St. Mary's begins a two-game road trip at Wagner on Saturday, January 19, at 4:00 p.m.