Emmitsburg, Md. (February 28, 2019)--Fairleigh Dickinson hit a pair of key three-pointers in the closing minutes to rally for a 65-59 win over Mount St. Mary's at Knott Arena on Thursday night. Malik Jefferson paced the Mount with 16 points and seven rebounds in the game.
Mount St. Mary's (8-22, 5-12 NEC) had one of its best defensive efforts in the first half to take a 34-20 lead at the break. The Mount held Fairleigh Dickinson to 9-of-28 (.321) shooting in the opening half, including a 1-for-6 (.167) performance from three-point range. The Mount started the game with a 7-0 run over the first four minutes, and held FDU without a field goal over the first six minutes of the half. Damian Chong Qui started the game-opening run with a jumper in the paint, Omar Habwe hit a three-pointer, and Jefferson scored on a putback to give the Mount an early seven-point advantage.
Fairleigh Dickinson (16-13, 11-6 NEC) cut the Mount advantage to 10-9 on a Brandon Powell basket, but the Mount responded with a 20-7 spurt to take a 14-point advantage. Jefferson hit back-to-back buckets for a 21-14 lead, and Chong Qui scored in transition to push the advantage to 23-14. After a Jahlil Jenkins lay-up made it 23-16, the Mount scored the next seven points to take a 30-16 lead. Habwe hit a three-pointer, Gibbs a jumper, and Nana Opoku had a tip-in for a 30-16 lead. FDU scored the next four points, but Opoku slammed home a feed from Chong Qui, and after a Jefferson block on the defensive end, Jefferson scored in the paint to make it 34-20 at the half.
The Knights, behind Mike Holloway, Jr., came out flying early in the second half to even the score. Holloway, Jr., scored 11 points as FDU outscored the Mount, 16-to-2, over the first six and a half minutes of the second half to tie the score at 36-36. Holloway, Jr.'s traditional three-point play capped the FDU run. Mount St. Mary's responded by scoring the next six points to push the advantage to 42-36. Jefferson opened the run with a jumper, and Vado Morse scored in transition ahead of a Chong Qui lay-up for the six-point lead. The Mountaineers extended its lead to 46-37 with 9:35 remaining when Habwe hit 2-of-3 at the foul line after being fouled on a three-point attempt.
FDU stormed back with a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 47-46, on a Darnell Edge three-point play with 6:51 remaining. Nana Opoku gave the Mount the lead back with a pair of free throws, but Kaleb Bishop and Xzavier Malone-Key scored back-to-back baskets to give the Knights a 51-48 lead. Jefferson answered with a pair of free throws, and a Gibbs lay-up on a feed from Jefferson put the Mount ahead, 52-51, with 3:58 remaining. Edge answered with a bucket, but the Mount regained the lead when Morse found Jefferson open in the lane for a dunk for a 54-53 lead with 2:00 on the clock.
On the ensuing possession, Malone-Key drained a three-pointer from the left wing as the shot clock was ticking down to put FDU back on top, 56-54. The Knights then got a stop on the defensive end, and Edge connected on a three-pointer with 44 seconds left to make it 59-54. From there, FDU hit 6-of-6 at the line to preserve the win.
Jefferson finished with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting while adding seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the game. Habwe chipped in 13 points and five rebounds while Chong Qui had a strong stat line with eight points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. Holloway, Jr., led FDU with 18 points and 14 rebounds while Malone-Key had 12 points, Jahlil Jenkins 11 points and six rebounds, and Edge 10 points in the win.
The Mount shot 33.9 percent in the game, including 5-of-24 (.208) from three-point range. FDU shot 42.9 percent, and was 3-of-12 (.250) from beyond the arc.
Mount St. Mary's concludes the 2018-19 season on Saturday, March 2, with a 4:00 p.m. game at St. Francis Brooklyn.