Mount's Playoff Hopes End with 78-63 Loss at Central Connecticut State
New Britain, Conn. (February 23, 2012)—Mount St. Mary's saw its Northeast Conference playoff hopes end tonight with a 78-63 at Central Connecticut State on Thursday night. Sophomore Julian Norfleet led the Mountaineers with 20 points in the loss. It was Norfleet's sixth 20-point game this season.
The game belonged to reigning NEC Player of the Year Ken Horton, who poured in a career high 39 points for the Blue Devils. After the Mount cut the deficit to 53-48 on a Norfleet bucket with 13:11 left in the game, Horton scored the next seven points as CCSU led by double figures the rest of the way.
Norfleet finished the game with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting while Raven Barber chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Mountaineers (7-21, 5-12 NEC). Josh Castellanos added nine points and a team-high six assists with Chad Holley chipping in six points in the loss.
Horton was 15-for-20 from the field and 4-for-8 from three-point range en route to his 39-point night. He added 13 rebounds, six steals and five assists in the victory. Kyle Vinales added 13 points and 11 assists with Robby Ptacek scoring 17 in the win.
CCSU (12-15, 9-8 NEC) shot 53.6 percent overall and was 8-for-16 (.500) from three-point range in the win. The Blue Devils had 24 assists and just seven turnovers in the contest.
The Mountaineers shot 47.7 percent in the game, but were 15-for-28 (.536) at the foul line.
Horton was on fire in the first half, hitting 8-of-11 from the field to finish with 19 points and seven boards in the opening 20 minutes. The Blue Devils shot 57.1 percent in the half, including 5-of-8 (.625) from three-point range.
Norfleet paced the Mount with 11 points and Barber had nine off the bench in the opening half.
Norfleet hit three three-pointers in the opening four minutes as the Mount trailed 12-9 early. Barber had back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to 22-20 with eight minutes left in the half. CCSU, however, went on a 16-to-5 run to take its biggest lead of the half, 36-to-23, with 3:17 on the clock.
Mount St. Mary's whittled into the deficit by scoring 10 of the next 12 points to cut the gap to 38-33 on a Barber lay-up with 47 seconds left in the half, but Ptacek closed the scoring in the stanza with a three-pointer for a 41-33 CCSU lead at the break.
The Mount closes out the season at Bryant on Saturday afternoon with tip-off set for 4:00 p.m.