Emmitsburg, Md. (November 1, 2018)--Jalen Gibbs scored 23 points as Mount St. Mary's topped Hood College, 87-81, in an exhibition game at Knott Arena on Thursday night in the final tuneup before the start of the regular season. The Mountaineers had five players score in double figures in the game for first-year head coach Dan Engelstad.
Leading 65-63 with 7:38 remaining, the Mount rattled off eight consecutive points to push the advantage to double figures. James West IV connected on a pair of three-pointers to start the run that was capped by a pair of Gibbs free throws. The Blazers did not go away, cutting the deficit to 77-73, but freshman Vado Morse made some big plays down the stretch as the Mount held on for the win. Morse hit a three-pointer to give the Mount an 80-73 lead with 2:26 on the clock, and then fed Nana Opoku for a dunk with 40 seconds let to push the lead to 82-73. Morse then hit 3-of-4 from the line over the final 13 seconds to seal the win.
Gibbs led the Mount with 23 points, going 10-for-10 at the line, in his first game with the Mountaineers. The transfer from Drake was 6-for-12 from the field. Morse chipped in 13 points and four assists while Opoku added 12 points and six rebounds in the win. Omar Habwe added 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks off the bench while Malik Jefferson recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Antony Pearson led Hood with 26 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Michael Riley added 19 points and Mason Wang 15 in the game.
The Mount started off the game quickly, taking a 9-to-4 lead in the opening three minutes. Hood rallied, taking its biggest lead of the game, 31-23, with 5:16 left in the opening half. Habwe and Gibbs played key roles as the Mount closed the half with a 17-to-8 run to take a 40-39 lead at the break. A Gibbs lay-up and a Habwe dunk off a steal started a quick 7-0 run that was capped by a Habwe lay-up. The Mount took a 35-34 lead on a Gibbs three-pointer, and a Habwe putback at the halftime buzzer gave the Mount the one-point advantage.
The Mount shot 43.8 percent from the field in the game, including 8-of-27 (.296) from three-point range. Hood shot 47.5 percent in the contest, including 9-of-29 (.310) from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers held a 41-to-30 advantage on the boards and had six blocked shots in the game.
Mount St. Mary's opens the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, November 6, with a 7:00 p.m. matchup at NC State. The game will be aired on the ACC Network Extra.