January 17, 2013

Mount Drops Heartbreaker at Bryant, 79-78, in Overtime

Smithfield, R.I. (January 17, 2013)—Mount St. Mary's lost a heartbreaker, 79-78 in overtime, at Northeast Conference leader Bryant on Thursday night.  Bryant's Shane McLaughlin scored on a drive to the basket with 6.6 seconds left for the game-winning shot.

The Mount had a chance to win it at the end, but Julian Norfleet's jumper from 17-feet was off the mark.  Norfleet had given the Mount a 78-77 advantage with 21 seconds left in the overtime period when he scored off the glass on a nice drive to his left.

The Mount's Sam Prescott and Kristijan Krajina scored back-to-back buckets to give the Mount a 72-69 lead midway through the overtime.  Bryant's Frankie Dobbs connected on a three-pointer to tie the game, but freshman Shivaughn Wiggins scored on a drive to the basket for a 74-72 lead with 2:03 left.

Bryant (12-4, 5-0 NEC) again answered when Alex Francis converted a traditional three-point play for a 75-74 lead with 1:43 remaining.  Prescott countered with a tough drive to the basket to put the Mount back on top, but Dobbs hit a pair of free throws with 1:02 left in the overtime to put Bryant ahead 77-76, setting up the exciting final seconds.

The Mount (6-10, 1-4 NEC) came up with many clutch plays down the stretch in regulation to force the extra session.  Trailing 61-50 with 5:16 remaining, the Mount closed the game on a 17-to-6 run.

Norfleet started the run with a jumper, followed by lay-ups from Krajina and Wiggins to cut the deficit 61-56.  After Dyami Starks scored for Bryant, Rashad Whack drilled consecutive three-pointers to cut the deficit to 63-62 with 2:09 left in regulation.

Starks scored on a lay-up, but Whack answered with a drive to the basket to make it 65-64 with 1:14 remaining.  Dobbs then hit a pair of free throws to put Bryant ahead by three with 59 seconds remaining.  Norfleet missed a three-pointer on the next possession, but Whack forced a steal on the inbounds pass with 20 seconds on the clock.

Wiggins then hit a clutch three-pointer to even the score with 12 seconds on the clock, and Dobbs missed a deep three-pointer at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.

Wiggins paced the Mount with a career high 20 points while Whack added 17 and Prescott 16 in the loss.  Norfleet added six points and seven assists while Krajina chipped in eight points for the Mountaineers.

Francis led five Bryant players in double figures with 25 points.  Starks chipped in 18, Corey Maynard 13, Joe O'Shea 11 and Dobbs 10 in the win.

The Mount forced Bryant into 20 turnovers in the game, but the Bulldogs shot 58.3 percent in the game.  Mount St. Mary's shot 52.5 percent from the field and was 9-for-28 (.321) from three-point range.

In a game of runs in the first half, Bryant held a 35-31 lead at the intermission.  The Mountaineers led 7-2 early and 10-6 after a Prescott three-pointer.  Bryant, however, went on a 12-to-2 run to take an 18-12 advantage. 

The Mountaineers answered with a 9-2 run to regain the lead, 21-20, with 7:57 left in the first half.  Prescott hit a pair of free throws to start the run, followed by a Whack finish on a fast-break drive, a Raven Barber bucket in the paint and a Kelvin Parker three-pointer.

Bryant countered with a 9-2 run of its own to grab a 29-23 lead with Maynard scoring seven points during that streak.  The Mount hung tough behind the play of Wiggins, who scored six consecutive Mount points, while Prescott added a tip-in at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 35-31 at the half.

The Mount was 12-for-23 (52 percent) from the field in the first half while Bryant shot 60 percent on 15-of-25 shooting.  Francis, Maynard and Joe O'Shea combined for 33 of Bryant's 35 first-half points.  Wiggins paced the Mount with 13 points in the opening half.

The Mount returns to action on Saturday, January 19, with a 3:30 p.m. game at Central Connecticut State.