Mount St. Mary's will take a three-game win streak into its Thursday night matchup at Central Connecticut State. The Mountaineers are coming off a 72-63 victory over Quinnipiac behind 17 points, six rebounds and six assists from Shawn Atupem.
The Mount (7-14, 5-3 NEC) is currently in a four-way tie with Central Connecticut State, Robert Morris and Wagner for second place in the Northeast Conference standings, one game behind leader Long Island.
Atupem, who scored his 1,000th career point in the Mount's win over Quinnipiac last Saturday, is averaging 18.5 points over the past two games. Junior guard Lamar Trice leads the Mount in scoring (13.6) and assists (3.1) while Atupem is averaging 10.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Central Connecticut State rallied from five points down in the final 31 seconds to force overtime in a 72-67 win against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday. Ken Horton (23 pts., 10 rebs.) and Shemik Thompson (22 pts., 10 rebs., 5 ast.) each had double-doubles in the victory.
Horton is having an outstanding season for the Blue Devils (12-7, 5-3 NEC), leading the NEC in both scoring (18.3) and rebounding (8.3). He was named the league's Co-Player of the Week after posting back-to-back double-doubles last week. Robby Ptacek is averaging 15.3 poitns per game while Thompson chips in 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
THIS DATE IN MOUNT HISTORY...Mount St. Mary's defeated Marist, 61-55, on January 27, 1996, behind 19 points from Chris McGuthrie. The Red Foxes entered the game 14-1 overall and 7-0 in the Northeast Conference. The Mount earned the win despite shooting 32.8 percent overall and being outrebounded by a 42-to-26 margin. The key to the game was the Mount committing just four turnovers while the Red Foxes turned it over 22 times. In addition to McGuthrie, Riley Inge (13 points), Silas Cheung (13 points) and Gerben Van Dorpe (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring. Alan Tomidy had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead Marist in the loss. The win was part of the Mount's 15-game win streak that was snapped in the NEC semifinals by Rider.
The All-Time Series...Central Connecticut State holds a 16-12 lead in the all-time series that began in 1989.
* Mount St. Mary's has won two in a row and three of the past four matchups in the series.
* Last year, the Mount posted an 85-58 victory over CCSU at Knott Arena in the only meeting between the two teams. Jeremy Goode poured in 26 points while Shawn Atupem and Kelly Beidler each added 14 in the win. The Mount, which led by as many as 31 points, used a 40-12 second-half run to earn the victory. Shemik Thompson had 22 points for the Blue Devils in the loss.
* This will be the third time over the past four years that the Mount and CCSU will meet just one time in the NEC regular season. Both previous times (2007-08 and 2009-10), the Mount won the lone matchup between the schools.
Last Time Out...Mount St. Mary's stretched its win streak to three with a 72-63 win over Quinnipiac on Saturday night.
* The Mount, which led the entire game, held a 12-point lead with 11:24 left in the game. Quinnipiac used an 11-1 run to cut the deficit to two, but the Mount answered with a 9-2 run to take control.
* Senior forward Shawn Atupem led the Mount with 17 points, six rebounds and a career-high six steals. Atupem reached 1,000 career points at the Mount when he hit a pair of free throws with 5:04 left in the game.
* Josh Castellanos chipped in a career-high 12 points off the bench, hitting a pair of clutch jumpers down the stretch.
* Mount St. Mary's held Quinnipiac to 38.8 percent shooting in the game. The Mount also outrebounded the Bobcats, 40-to-31, in the game.
Atupem Stepping Up...Senior forward Shawn Atupem has picked up his play in recent games.
* Atupem is averaging 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals over the past three games. He is shooting 64.0 percent from the field over that stretch.
* He scored a season-high 20 points in the Mount's 61-45 win over Sacred Heart. It was the second 20-point game of his career. His first half block was featured on ESPN's top plays that night.
* In the Mount's 72-63 win over Quinnipiac, Atupem posted 17 points, six rebounds and a career-high six steals.
* The senior became the 42nd player in Mount history to reach 1,000 career points with a pair of free throws with 5:04 left in the win over Quinnipiac.
* Atupem likes to play at Knott Arena, where he is averaging 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 53.8 percent. On the road, Atupem is averaging 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while he is shooting 41.0 percent.
Getting Defensive...Defense has been a key to the Mount's current three-game win streak.
* The Mount is allowing 56.3 points while holding the opposition to 37.7 percent shooting during the three-game win streak.
* In NEC play, the Mount is third in scoring defense (62.0) and second in field goal percentage defense (.399).
* Mount St. Mary's has held four of the eight NEC opponents this season under 60 points.
* In the Mount's seven wins this season, the team is holding to opposition to 57.1 points per game and 36.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Trice as Nice...Junior guard Lamar Trice is one of the most-improved players in the Northeast Conference.
* Trice leads the Mount in scoring at 13.6 points per game, having scored in double figures in 17 of the team's 21 games on the year. He has scored 15 or more points in 10 of the past 15 games.
* The 5-11 guard has improved his scoring average by 11.7 points from last season, a whopping 616 percent increase. Trice averaged 1.9 points per game in limited action last season for the Mountaineers.
* Trice has been even better in Northeast Conference play, averaging 16.5 points per game, seventh in the league. He has improved his scoring average in NEC games by 15.6 points per game from last year. Trice averaged 0.9 points while appearing in 16 NEC contests.
* Trice scored a career-best 22 points in the win at St. Francis (N.Y.) and added 21 in the victory at Sacred Heart.
Thievery...Senior Shawn Atupem tallied a career-high six steals in the Mount's 72-63 win over Quinnipiac.
* The six steals were the most by a Mount player since Jeremy Goode had seven in a 70-59 win over Loyola on December 1, 2007.
* Atupem, who is averaging 4.5 steals over the past two games, leads the Mountaineers with 24 steals this season. He is 35th all-time in Mount history with 76 career thefts.
Thompson Taking Off...Junior forward Danny Thompson has given the Mount a big lift off the bench of late. Thompson scored a career-high 16 points while grabbing eight rebounds in the 70-61 win at St. Francis (N.Y.) last Saturday.
* The 6-7 forward has posted double figures in rebounds in four of the past eight games and is averaging 8.4 rebounds over the past nine contests.
* Thompson tallied his first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the Mount's 63-56 win over Saint Francis (Pa.).
* Thompson is averaging 5.7 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game on the year. He is tied for fourth in the Northeast Conference with 7.6rebounds per game in league games.
* Thompson leads the Mount and is seventh in the NEC with 1.24 blocks per game.
MSM and the NEC..Mount St. Mary's has completed the non-conference portion of the schedule and will play only Northeast Conference games the rest of the way.
* Mount St. Mary's, which is 5-3 so far this year in the NEC, has posted three-straight winning seasons in conference play. The Mount has also posted five consecutive .500 or better seasons in league play, joining Robert Morris as the only teams in the NEC to achieve that feat.
* Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Mount is 60-38 (.612) in NEC regular season games. It is the third-most wins in the league in that stretch behind Robert Morris (70-28) and Central Connecticut State (61-37).
* The Mount has advanced to at least the NEC Tournament semifinals in each of the past four years. The Mount won the NEC in 2008 and lost in the NEC Championship game the following season in 2009.
* The Mount is 19-3 in NEC regular season games at Knott Arena over the past two-plus seasons.
* Overall, the Mountaineers are 22-3 over their past 24 home games against NEC opponents including the playoffs.
* The Mount's 77-75 loss to Quinnipiac in early December snapped the team's 11-game NEC regular season win streak. That 11-game streak matched the school record of 11 NEC wins in a row set in 1994-96.
For Comparison Sake...The Mountaineers are definitely faring better statistically in NEC play so far this season.
* The Mount is second in the league in field goal percentage (.454) in league games and seventh in three-point percentage (.330). Overall, the Mount is eighth in field goal percentage (.408) and last in three-point percentage (.293).
Barber Leads NEC in Field Goal Percentage...Sophomore Raven Barber leads the Northeast Conference by a wide margin in field goal percentage at 64.9 percent.
* The 6-8 forward scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the Mount's win over St. Francis (N.Y.). Earlier this year, He scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the Mount's loss at Albany.
* Barber is shooting 68.5 percent (37-of-54) from the field over the past 11 games.
* Barber has shot 50 percent or better in 17 of the Mount's 21 games this year. 19 of his 61 field goals have been dunks.
* For his career, Barber is shooting 59.4 percent from the floor (104-for-175). The Mount's all-time leader in career field goal percentage (minimum 150 FGM) is Konata Springer, who shot 59.4 percent (161-for-271).
Wins vs. Losses...A look inside the numbers in the Mount's wins vs. losses.
* Mount St. Mary's is averaging 67.1 points while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point range in the team's seven wins.
* In the 14 losses, the Mount is averaging 56.6 points while shooting 37.9 percent from the field and 25.8 percent from three-point range.
From the Field...Mount St. Mary's shot a season-high 58.1 percent (25-of-43) in the 70-61 win at St. Francis (N.Y.).
* It is the second time this season the Mount has shot 50 percent or better from the floor. Mount St. Mary's shot 54.4 percent (31-of-57) in the 77-75 loss at Quinnipiac.
* The Mountaineers are 7-5 this season when shooting 40 percent or better and 0-9 when shooting under 40 percent. In addition, the Mount is 7-4 when recording a higher field goal percentage than the opponent and 0-10 when the opposition shoots better.
Atupem Joins 1,000-Point Club, Cajou Closing In...Shawn Atupem became the 42nd player in Mount history to reach 1,000 career points in the win over Quinnipiac on Jan. 22. Teammate Jean Cajou is closing in on the milestone as well.
* Atupem has 1,000 points on the nose, tying him with Ted Kachnowski (1949-53) for 41st on the all-time list. Cajou is 24 points shy of the 1,000-point mark and is 45th all-time with 976 career points.
The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The Mount is 189-196 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 113-79 at home and 76-117 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.
Cajou Returns...Senior guard Jean Cajou has returned to the team and appeared in two games this year.
* Cajou has 976 points in 103 career games. He is 24 points shy of becoming the 42nd player in Mount history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
* Cajou was named to CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major All-Defensive Team last year.
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 27-8 (.771 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 19-3 mark over its past 22 NEC regular season home games. Including the playoffs, the Mount has won 22 of its past 25 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 174-120 (.592) record at Knott Arena.
Cajou at the Line...Senior guard Jean is second all-time at the Mount in career free throw percentage.
* Cajou is shooting 81.7 percent (236-for-289) in his career at the charity stripe.
* Mark Scallion (1983-87) is the Mount's all-time leader in free throw percentage at 84.8 percent (228-for-269).
Non-Conference Numbers...The Mount finished the non-conference schedule with a 2-11 mark, going 2-2 at home and 0-9 on the road.
* Since joining NCAA Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference play. The Mountaineers are 62-152 (.290) in non-conference games since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 214 non-conference games, 128 have been on the road, 66 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-108 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.
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.
Brown Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Brown averaged averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year and was expected to start this year. In addition, sophomore Kristijan Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, has missed all 20 games this season 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.
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 November 20.
* 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 Cincinnati, Norfleet 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.
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.
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).