Queens, N.Y. (December 5, 2018) – Mount St. Mary's hung tough with the undefeated St. John's Red Storm on Wednesday night, but SJU pulled away late in the contest to come away with an 85-71 victory at Carnesecca Arena. Dee Barnes drained seven three-pointers and scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Mountaineers in the tilt.
Barnes' 26 points were the most by a Mount freshman since Miles Wilson's 26-point performance at UT Arlington on November 23, 2016, and his seven threes were tied for eighth-most in a game in program history. Barnes went 7-for-10 from long range and 8-of-11 overall from the field, finishing with 26 points in just 24 minutes in his first career start.
Jalen Gibbs added 16 points to help pace the squad, as he recorded his seventh double-digit scoring performance of the season. Damian Chong Qui, who joined Barnes in the starting lineup for the first time, finished with 10 points and five assists.
The Mount started four freshmen for the first time since February 27, 2003 against Quinnipiac, when the team trotted out rookies Kiel Butler, Charles Cook, Chris Summer and Landy Thompson as part of the starting unit.
The Mountaineers, who made a season-high 12 three-pointers in the contest, shot 41.7-percent from the floor and 38.7-percent from long range. St. John's posted a 57.4-percent shooting mark and made 13-of-27 (.481) from deep.
St. John's held a 42-37 lead entering the second half, but saw its advantage get whittled down to just one, 57-56, at the 13:22 mark following a three-pointer from K.J. Scott off a feed from Chong Qui.
The teams went back-and-forth over the next eight minutes and the SJU lead remained in single-digits until the Red Storm's Justin Simon and Mustapha Heron drained back-to-back threes to make it a 76-65 game with 4:55 on the clock.
Chong Qui was able to answer on the other end for the Mount with a three from straight on to trim the deficit back to 76-68. After a media timeout, St. John's scored five straight on a Shamorie Ponds layup and a triple from LJ Figueruoa, increasing the Red Storm advantage to 81-68 with just 2:39 to play.
Barnes' seventh three of the contest brought it back to a 10-point game, but the Red Storm closed it out with the final two buckets of the game to come away with the 85-71 victory.
SJU was led by 21 points from Marvin Clark II, while Figueroa notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Mount (0-8) and St. John's (8-0) were both clicking from long range in the early going as the two teams combined for nine three-pointers on their first 12 attempts. Barnes connected three times from deep in the opening five minutes of play to lead the Mount with an early nine points. The fast-paced and high-scoring beginning to the game saw SJU take a 17-16 lead at the first media timeout.
A mini 7-2 run on a three-pointer from Scott and two buckets from Gibbs gave the Mount a three-point advantage, but the Red Storm answered and re-took the lead in the ensuing minutes. A 7-2 rally of their own late in the first gave the Red Storm their largest lead of the half at 39-32, and they eventually took a 42-37 advantage into the halftime break.
Barnes went 5-of-6 from three-point territory for 15 points in the opening half, and Gibbs added 12 as the duo combined for 27 points in the frame. The Mount held SJU leading scorer Shamoria Ponds, who was averaging 22.4 points entering the contest, scoreless in the half.
The Mount returns to Emmitsburg to face Lehigh on Saturday, December 8. Opening tip from Knott Arena is set for 4 p.m.