Mount St. Mary's Faces Northwestern on Thursday
Television Coverage: The game will be aired on the Big 10 Network on Friday, December 24, at 6:00 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Thursday afternoon against Northwestern out of the Big Ten Conference. The Mount (3-9) is coming off a 69-64 loss to American.
American used a 20-6 run to open the second half to rally from a four-point halftime deficit to earn the win over the Mount. Trailing by 10 midway through the second half, Mount St. Mary's whittled the deficit to three points on four occasions, but could not complete the comeback.
Lamar Trice paced the Mount with 18 points and six assists in the loss while Shawn Atupem chipped in 14 points. Julian Norfleet scored all 11 of his points in the second half for the Mount. American's Vlad Moldoveanu scored 17 of his game-high 21 points to lead the Eagles in the win.
Trice, back in the starting lineup for the first time in six games, leads the Mount in scoring (13.0), assists (43) and steals (12). Atupem is averaging 11.1 points per game while Norfleet is at 10.1 ppg.
Northwestern lost its first game of the season, 85-69, to St. John's on Tuesday night in the championship game of the ECAC Holiday Festival. John Shurma led the Wildcats (8-1) with 28 points in the loss. Shurma is averaging a team-best 24.4 points per game, hitting 30-of-48 (.625) from three-point range. Michael Thompson is averaging 15.7 points and Drew Crawford 15.4 points on the year.
The Wildcats, who have wins over fellow NEC schools St. Francis (N.Y.) (92-61) and Long Island (81-65), are averaging 80.1 points per game while converting 49.4 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from three-point range.
Did You Know?...The Mountaineers are 0-9 all-time against Big Ten schools since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89. Earlier this season, the Mount lost at Penn State, 57-53. Penn State's Talor Battle hit a 30-foot three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to snap a 53-53 tie in that game. The Mount is 0-6 against Penn State and 0-1 against Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Last Time Out...Mount St. Mary's fell to American, 69-64, at home on Monday night to see the team's losing streak stretched to five.
* Mount St. Mary's had an efficient first half, shooting 50.0 percent from the field while committing just four turnovers in taking a 31-27 lead at the half.
* The Mount went cold from the field to start the second half, going 0-for-7 over the first 10 minutes, allowing American to take a 10-point lead.
* Lamar Trice and Julian Norfleet then got hot for the Mountaineers, combining to score 21 consecutive points in helping the Mount cut the deficit to three on four different occasions.
* The game was the Mount's first home game in three weeks.
Road Weary...After a brief pit stop at home for Monday's game against American, the Mount is back on the road for the next three games.
* The Mountaineers are now 1-7 on the road this season, having dropped the final four games of the five-game road stretch to start December.
* Mount St. Mary's is averaging 58.4 points on the road, hitting 41.1 percent from the floor and just 23.9 percent from three-point range.
* The three-game swing includes games at Northwestern (Dec. 23), Vermont (Dec. 29) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 2).
* Mount St. Mary's is 14-31 over its past 45 road contests.
Barber Leads NEC in Field Goal Percentage...Sophomore forward Raven Barber scored a career-high 20 points in the Mount's 77-57 loss at Albany.
* Barber hit 9-of-10 (.900) from the field in the game and he now leads the Northeast Conference in field goal percentage at 66.1 percent.
* The 6-8 Barber is shooting 72.7 percent (32-of-44) over his past seven games. He missed a pair of contests (at Quinnipiac and at Penn State) with the flu.
* Barber leads the Mount with 12 dunks this season. He is 37-of-54 from the field on the year.
Boardwork...Mount St. Mary's has struggled on the boards this season.
* The Mountaineers are 11th in the Northeast Conference in both rebounding margin (-5.0) and offensive rebounds (9.67).
* In the latest Ken Pomeroy ratings (www.kenpom.com), the Mount is 325th out of 345 teams in opponents offensive rebound percentage. The Mount's opponents are rebounding 39.7 percent of their missed shots this season.
Block Party...Junior forward Danny Thompson leads the Mount with 18 blocked shots this year.
* Thompson is fourth in the Northeast Conference in blocks at 1.50 per game.
* Thompson has recorded at least one block in each of the past six games, averaging 2.00 blocks in that stretch.
* He posted a career-high four blocks at Niagara (Nov. 22) and at Loyola (Dec. 11).
Trice as Nice...Junior guard Lamar Trice is the Mount's leading scorer this season.
* After coming off the bench the past six games, Trice start against American and posted team highs of 18 points and six assists. Trice is averaging a team-best 13.0 points per game this year and leads the team with 43 assists.
* Trice has scored in double figures in nine of the Mount's 12 games this season. He is averaging 15.3 points over the past six contests.
* Trice scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Mount to a 66-52 win at Sacred Heart on Dec. 2. He followed with a team-high 17 points and six assists at Quinnipiac while scoring 16 points in the Mount's loss at Penn State.
* Trice averaged 1.9 points while playing a total of 157 minutes in 28 games for the Mountaineers last season.
At the Stripe...Mount St. Mary's has picked it up at the charity stripe, shooting 77.2 percent (88-of-114) on free throws over the past seven games.
* For the season, the Mount is now shooting 71.0 percent at the line, making 159-of-224. That is fourth in the NEC.
* Freshman Josh Castellanos is the Mount's top free throw shooter, converting 30-of-35 (.857) on the year. Freshman David Golladay (18-of-22 .818) and senior Shawn Atupem (.775, 31-of-40) are also shooting 75 percent or better at the line on the season.
Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.
* Mount St. Mary's had its 11-game homecourt win streak snapped by Navy, 81-68, on November 29. It was the Mount's second 11-game homecourt win streak since the start of the 2008-09 season.
* Mount St. Mary's is 24-7 (.774 winning pct.) at home over the past two-plus seasons. Last year, the Mount went 10-3 at home after posting a 12-2 mark at Knott Arena in 2008-09.
* The Mount has been even better in Northeast Conference play, posting a 16-2 mark over its past 18 NEC regular season home games. Including the playoffs, the Mount has won 19 of its past 21 home games against NEC opponents on Jim Phelan Court.
* The Mount has recorded a winning record at home in each of the past five seasons and has been .500 or better at home in 18 of the 23 seasons since Knott Arena opened.
* All-time, the Mount has a 171-119 (.590) record at Knott Arena.
Non-Conference Numbers...Since joining NCAA Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference play. The Mountaineers are 62-149 (.294) in non-conference games since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 211 non-conference games, 125 have been on the road, 66 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-105 on the road, 35-31 at home and 7-13 at a neutral site in non-conference action since 1988-89.
* The Mount has had just one winning season in non-conference play at the Division I level. The 2002-03 team went 5-4 in non-conference action before finishing the season with a 11-16 record.
December Musings...Mount St. Mary's is 52-96 all-time in the month of December since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89.
* The Mountaineers are 30-28 at home, 17-62 on the road and 5-6 at neutral sites in those games.
* This season, the Mount will have seven of its eight December games on the road.
* The last time the Mount had a winning mark in the month of December was when the 2007-08 squad went 6-2.
Atupem Climbs Career Scoring List...Senior forward Shawn Atupem is has moved into 50th place on the Mount's all-time scoring list.
* Atupem has 908 points in 106 career games at Mount St. Mary's.
* He is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game and has scored 13 or more points in seven of the team's contests.
Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started a trio of freshmen (Josh Castellanos, David Golladay, Julian Norfleet) in seven games this year.
* It was the first time since Nov. 30, 2005, that the Mount had a trio of freshmen in the starting five. That game, Joey Butler, Sam Atupem and Markus Mitchell started against La Salle.
* Golladay and Norfleet started the first four games for the Mount this season. It was the first time the Mount has had a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup since Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler started at Maryland on Dec. 28, 2006.
Third Coach in 57 Years...Robert Burke became the third men's basketball coach in 57 years at the Mount when his hiring was announced on May 10.
* Burke comes to the Mount with 22 years of Division I coaching experience, including helping 10 of his last 12 teams reach the postseason and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2007 Final Four with Georgetown. He has coached 39 players who earned all-conference honors. In addition, he was named one of the top-10 assistant coaches in country according to a peer survey conducted by Fox Sports in 2008.
* He was an assistant coach under Jeff Jones at American last year. The previous nine seasons, he worked with John Thompson III at Georgetown (five years) and Princeton (four years). Burke was an assistant for Paul Hewitt at Siena (three seasons) while also serving as an assistant at Loyola Marymount (three seasons) and Maryland-Baltimore County (six seasons).
* Legendary Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan was at the helm of the program for 49 years (1954-2003), posting 830 career wins. The Mount won the NCAA College Division National Championship in 1962 under Phelan while advancing to five NCAA Division II Final Fours. Phelan guided the Mount to the 1995 and 1999 NCAA Division I Tournaments.
* Milan Brown coached the Mount the past seven seasons, leading the team to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
BCS Flavor...The Mount will be playing four teams from BCS conferences this season, the most in school history.
* Mount St. Mary's has road games against Cincinnati (Big East), Penn State (Big 10), Northwestern (Big 10) and Virginia Tech (ACC).
* The Mount has played three BCS schools in the same season on 10 occasions, including each of the past four years.
Global Sports Main Event...The Mount finished in third place in the Global Sports Main Event, a five-team round robin in-season tournament.
* Cincinnati won the event with a perfect 4-0 mark, followed by Dayton (3-1), the Mount (2-2), Florida A&M (1-3) and Savannah State (0-4).
* The Mount has not participated in an in-season tournament since the 2005 San Juan Shootout. The Mountaineers lost to Akron (74-61) and Chattanooga (85-74, ot) before downing Liberty (63-59) at the event.
Brown and Krajina Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown and sophomore Kristijan Krajina are out indefinitely with injuries. Brown, who averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year, is out with a foot injury. Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, is out with an ankle injury.
Mount Signs Taylor Danaher to NLI... Mount St. Mary's has signed Taylor Danaher (Fredericksburg, Va./Fredericksburg Christian School) to a National Letter of Intent to enroll at the Mount next fall.
* Danaher, a 6-10, 200-pound center with a 7-2 wingspan, averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior while playing in the Central Virginia Homeschool Athletic Association.
* He was named First Team All-Tournament at the Homeschool Sports Network Championships last March. Danaher played AAU with the Hoop Booth organization.
The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The Mount is 185-194 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 110-78 at home and 75-116 on the road during the NEC regular season.
* Mount St. Mary's has posted a winning record in nine of the 21 seasons the team has been in the league.
* Since joining the league in 1989-90, the Mount has had 17 All-NEC selections, including six first-team honorees.
* The Mount won NEC Tournament titles in 1995, 1999 and 2008 and won the NEC regular season crown in 1995-96.
Strong Debut...Freshman guard Julian Norfleet tallied 15 points in his collegiate debut at Dayton
* The 15 points were the most by a Mount player in their collegiate debut since 2002. Landy Thompson, who is eighth all-time at the Mount with 1,733 career points, had 28 points in his first collegiate game at North Carolina State on Nov. 22, 2002.
* The only other double-digit performance by a freshman in their first game at the Mount since 2002 was from Sam Atupem, who had 13 points at Virginia Tech on Nov. 18, 2005. Atupem is the older brother of current Mountaineer Shawn Atupem.
* Norfleet had 16 points in his Mount debut, the most by a Mount player in their first home game since Jeremy Goode had 18 in a double-overtime win against James Madison in the 2006 home opener.
Norfleet Named NEC Co-Rookie of the Week...Freshman Julian Norfleet was named the Northeast Conference Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.
* The freshman averaged 11.5 points per game in a win over Savannah State and a loss to Cincinnati.
* In a 69-59 loss at Cincinnat, Nofleet drilled a three-pointer with 59 seconds left to pull the Mount within 62-58. He finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and three assists.
* In the Mount's 68-62 overtime win over Savannah State, Norfleet's clutch shooting down the stretch helped the Mount rally from a seven-point deficit. Trailing 41-34 with eight minutes left, Norfleet hit a pair of three-pointers in a 12-0 run that helped the Mount regain the lead.
* After Savannah State rallied to send the game into overtime, Norfleet connected for a three-pointer 21 seconds into the extra session to give the Mountaineers the lead for good. He finished the game with a season-high 16 points, including a 5-for-10 mark from beyond the arc.
* Norfleet is the first Mountaineer to earn NEC Rookie of the Week honors since Shawn Atupem won the award on Feb. 18, 2008.
International Appeal...Sophomore Kristijan Krajina is the Mount's first international player since Pat Atangana (Cameroon, 2000-04).
* The Mount has had three other European players in the team's history. Robert Balgac (1996-00, New Belgrade, Serbia), Gerben Van Dorpe (Erembodegem, Belgium, 1994-98) and Matt Meakin (Awsworth, England) are the others.
* Other international players to don the Mount uniform include Rodolpho Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1920-24), Roberto Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1926-27) and Paul Miller (Havana, Cuba, 1920-21).