Men's Basketball Looks to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive at CCSU on Thursday

MOUNT ST. MARY'S (7-20, 5-11 NEC) at CENTRAL CONNECTICUT ST. (11-15, 8-8 NEC)
Thursday, February 26, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Detrick Gymnasium, New Britain, Conn.
TV:  Live on MSG, Fox College Sports; Airs on MASN at 9:00 p.m.

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Mount St. Mary's looks to stay alive in the Northeast Conference playoff race at Central Connecticut State on Thursday night.  The Mount needs to win its final two games and have Sacred Heart drop both of its games to earn the eighth and final NEC playoff spot.

The Mount's playoff hopes took a dent on Saturday night when Monmouth rallied for a 68-66 win at Knott Arena.  The Mount led 60-51 with nine minutes left before Monmouth went on a 16-2 run to take a 67-62 advantage.  Mount St. Mary's was able to cut the deficit to 68-66 on a Kelvin Parker tip-in dunk with 51 seconds left.

The Hawks then missed a pair of free throws 19 seconds left, allowing the Mount a chance to tie the game.  Josh Castellanos drove to the basket, but his lay-up was off the mark, and the Mount turned the ball over on the scramble for the rebound.

Mount St. Mary's had a second chance to tie or win the game when Jesse Steele missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3.1 seconds on the clock, but the Mount's Julian Norfleet was unable to get a shot off in the closing seconds.

Norfleet paced the Mount with 21 points against Monmouth, his fifth 20-point game of the season.  Raven Barber and Danny Thompson each added 13 points with Kelvin Parker chipping in eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Norfleet, who is averaging 17.6 points over the past five games, leads the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game.  Parker and Barber are each averaging 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds on the year with Danny Thompson leading the squad with 7.1 boards per game.

Central Connecticut State lost to Robert Morris, 68-60, on Saturday despite a 32-point effort from freshman Kyle Vinales.  The Blue Devils have lost five of six games to fall to 11-15 overall and 8-8 in the NEC.  Vinales leads CCSU in scoring at 18.1 points per game with Ken Horton (17.8) and Robby Ptacek (17.7) combining to form the NEC's most prolific trio of scorers.  Horton leads the team in rebounds at 8.8 per game.

The Mount rounds out the regular season at Bryant at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25.