Emmitsburg, Md. (January 14, 2012)--Mount St. Mary's started slow, but finished strong in a 64-60 win over visiting Bryant on Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena.
After rallying from a 10-point first half deficit to take a six-point advantage early in second half, the Mount saw Bryant even the score at 56-56 with 3:51 remaining.
From there, the Mount made key plays down the stretch to earn the win. Raven Barber converted a putback and Xavier Owens a tough shot in the lane to give the Mount a 60-56 lead with 1:50 left. After Alex Francis scored for Bryant, the Mount had possession with just under a minute remaining.
After a timeout, sophomore Josh Castellanos nailed a clutch jumper to make the score 62-58 with 58 seconds remaining. Francis was fouled on the next possession, but missed both shots, and the Mount regained control. Bryant was given a second chance after the Mount missed a free throw, but Frankie Dobbs was off the mark with his jumper and Castellanos was fouled with 33 seconds left. He calmly sank both free throws to seal the victory.
Julian Norfleet paced the Mount with 16 points and five rebounds while Barber added 12 points and seven boards off the bench. Kelvin Parker added 10 points while Castellanos finished with seven points and a game-high eight assists.
Raphael Jordan led Bryant with 17 points while Francis chipped in 16 points off the bench.
Mount St. Mary's (4-13, 2-4 NEC) shot 13-of-24 (.542) in the second half and finished the game shooting 48.1 percent from the field. The Mountaineers controlled the boards, holding a 37-26 edge on the glass.
Bryant (2-15, 1-5 NEC) started the game strong, using 20-10 run to take a 29-19 lead with 6:51 left in the opening half. Francis keyed the run, scoring 12 points, including a stretch of 10 consecutive points for the Bulldogs.
The Mount, however, closed the half with an 11-to-2 run to cut the deficit to 31-30 at the break. Danny Thompson and Kelvin Parker started the spurt with back-to-back buckets. After Dan Calandrillo scored in the lane for Bryant, Norfleet added a three-pointer and a lay-up and Kristijan Krajina a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to one.
The Mountaineers opened the second half with an 11-4 run to take a 41-35 advantage. Norfleet hit a pair of three-pointers and Parker added five points during the stretch.
The Mount now heads on the road for a four-game swing starting at first-place Long Island on Thursday, January 19, at 7:00 p.m.
Game Notes: The Mount is now 5-1 all-time against Bryant...Norfleet has scored in double figures in six consecutive games...Krajina is averaging seven rebounds over the past four games.