Emmitsburg, Md. (January 22, 2009)--Jeremy Goode (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) scored 23 points to lead Mount St. Mary's to a 64-62 victory over Central Connecticut State on Thursday night at Knott Arena. The Mount (10-9, 5-3 NEC) held off a late CCSU rally to earn the victory.
Trailing 49-48 with 8:21 left in the game, the Mount rattled off 12 straight points to grab its biggest lead of the contest, 60-49, with 5:09 remaining. The Atupem brothers scored the first six points of the run for the Mount. Senior Sam Atupem (Newport News, Va./Woodside) hit a pair of free throws and a lay-up in the paint around a basket by younger brother Shawn Atupem (Newport News, Va./Woodside) to give the Mount a five-point lead. Goode, Kelly Beidler (Virginia Beach, Va./Tallwood) and Jean Cajou (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI) each added fast-break lay-ups to cap the run.
Shawn Atupem's rebound basket with 4:01 left gave the Mount a 62-52 lead, but the Blue Devils (8-10, 4-4 NEC) responded by scoring the next eight points to cut the Mount lead to two with 1:32 on the clock.
Ken Horton, Central Connecticut's leading scorer at 18.8 points per game heading into the contest, converted a traditional three-point play with 1:32 left to make the score 62-60. The Blue Devils forced Beidler into a tough shot on the Mount's next possession, but Horton missed for CCSU on the ensuing possession and Sam Atupem corralled the rebound with 34 seconds remaining.
The Mount was able to whittled the clock down to 19 seconds before calling timeout. After the timeout, Goode was able to inbound the ball to Cajou, the Mount's top free throw shooter, who was fouled with 16 seconds on the clock. Cajou, who missed the front end of a crucial one-and-one free throw chance in the Mount's 66-65 overtime loss in December, responded by draining both free throws to clinch the victory.
"I'm going to make these two free throws and we're going to win the game," said Cajou about the deciding free throws. "I wasn't even thinking about the last game."
Head coach Milan Brown was comfortable getting the ball to Cajou for the critical shots. "Sometimes you have to capitalize on the teachable moments and that's what we did," said Brown. "There wasn't any hesitation that he was going to knock down those free throws and he did."
Central Connecticut was able to grab a 29-20 lead late in the first half after a 10-2 run that was capped by a pair of Robby Ptacek free throws. The Mount held the ball for the final shot and Goode converted in the lane to make the score 29-22 at the break.
Mount St. Mary's opened the second half with an 8-2 run to get back into the game. Beidler and Goode hit back-to-back three-pointers and Cajou scored on the break to cut CCSU's lead to 31-30. The Blue Devils were able to hold onto the lead until Goode drained a three-pointer with 10:21 on the clock to give the Mount a 48-45 advantage. After Central Connecticut scored the next four points, the Mount went on its big run to grab the lead for good.
Goode finished 9-for-13 from the floor and 4-of-6 from three-point range for his game-high 23 points. Shawn Atupem hit 6-of-7 from the field for 12 points while Beidler and Cajou each tallied 10 points in the victory. It was the 12th straight game Cajou has reached double figures for the Mount.
Shemik Thompson paced CCSU with 19 points and five assists, but he had seven turnovers in the game. Joe Seymore added 12 points, David Simmons 11 and Marcus Palmer 10 points and 12 boards in the loss.
The Mount returns to action on Saturday, January 24, with a 7:00 p.m. home game at Knott Arena against Monmouth.