January 4, 2012

Mount St. Mary's Returns to Northeast Conference Play at Monmouth on Thursday Night

MOUNT ST. MARY'S (2-11, 0-2 NEC) at MONMOUTH (2-12, 0-2 NEC)
Thursday, January 5, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
MAC * West Long Branch, N.J.

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Mount St. Mary's returns to Northeast Conference play with a Thursday night matchup at Monmouth.  The Mountaineers are coming off a 65-64 loss to Albany on New Year's Eve at Knott Arena.

A late traditional three-point play proved to be the difference against the Great Danes.  In a game that saw seven ties and five lead changes in the second half, took a 64-62 lead on a pair of Danny Thompson free throws with 49.6 seconds left.  Albany's Gerardo Suero countered with a traditional three-point play with 38.7 seconds left to give the Great Danes (8-6) a 65-64 lead.  

The Mount had two chances to earn the win in the final seconds.  Norfleet took a contested three-pointer with four seconds remaining, but the Mount got the ball back when Albany was last to touch it before it went out of bounds.  On the baseline inbounds play with 1.5 seconds remaining, Norfleet got free in the left corner for a long three-point attempt, but it too was off the mark and Albany escaped with the one-point victory.

Norfleet leads the Mount in scoring this season at 11.2 points per game while Raven Barber is averaging 9.3 points.  Danny Thompson is averaging 7.8 points while leading the team in rebounds (8.2) and blocks (1.8).

Mount St. Mary's has been solid on the defensive end, allowing just 57.8 points over the past five games.  The Mount has held the opposition to 39.4 percent shooting from the field and 27.8 percent from three-point range.  The Mount is now third in the NEC this season in scoring defense (66.9).

Monmouth is 2-12 overall and 0-2 in Northeast Conference play this season.  The Hawks were downed by No. 6 North Carolina, 102-65, on Sunday despite a career-high 22 points from freshman Andrew Nicholas.  Jesse Steele leads the Hawks in scoring (11.6) and assists (48) while Nicholas is averaging 8.7 points per game.  Monmouth is allowing 80.4 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 51.3 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range this year.

Mount St. Mary's will travel to Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, Jan. 7, for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off before coming home to face Central Connecticut State (Jan. 12) and Bryant (Jan. 14).