January 19, 2013

Mount St. Mary's Rallies for 80-75 Win at Central Connecticut State

New Britain, Conn. (January 19, 2013)—Julian Norfleet and Xavier Owens each scored 18 points to help Mount St. Mary's rally for an 80-75 win at Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon.

Norfleet came up with the biggest shot of the afternoon, nailing a three-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire with 35 seconds remaining to give the Mount (7-10, 2-4 NEC) a 77-71 lead.  From there, the Mount was able hit enough free throws to earn the victory.

Owens finished with a career-high 18 points while adding nine rebounds and two steals for the Mountaineers.  Rashaed Whack (13 pts., 5 rebs.), Shivaughn Wiggins (12 pts.) and Kristijan Krajina (10 pts., six rebs.) also reached double figures for the Mount in the victory.

Central Connecticut State (7-10, 3-3 NEC) took a 60-52 lead after an Adonis Burbage three-pointer with 9:26 remaining.  Mount St. Mary's, however, rattled off the next 16 points to take an eight-point lead of its own.

Five different players scored during the 16-point spurt by the Mount that was capped by a Whack three-pointer off a pitch-ahead pass from Norfleet that put the Mount in front 68-60 with 5:53 left in the game.

CCSU hung tough behind the shooting of Malcolm McMillan, who made three consecutive three-pointers to help the Blue Devils whittle the Mount advantage to 72-71 with 2:23 left in the game.  Norfleet then drove to the basket on the Mount's next possession to help the Mount regain a three-point lead.

The Mount forced a miss on the next defensive possession, but CCSU got the rebound.  However, the Blue Devils turned the ball over on an offensive foul to give the Mount the ball back, setting the stage for Norfleet's clutch three-pointer.

The Mountaineers shot 49.2 percent from the floor in the game, including 10-of-22 (.455) from three-point range.  The Mount had just nine turnovers compared to 17 by Central Connecticut State.  CCSU shot 56.0 percent (28-of-50) and was 14-of-26 (.538) from beyond the three-point arc.

McMillan led all scorers with 26 points while dishing out seven assists.  Kyle Vinales added 20 points and Burbage 11 in the loss.

CCSU rattled off a 16-0 run to take a 33-23 lead with 8:40 left in the first half.  Vinales scored 10 of his 18 first-half points during the Blue Devil run.

The Mount countered with the next nine points to get back into the game.  A Norfleet three-pointer started the run, Whack scored on a runner, Owens had a bucket and Whack capped in with a lay-up off a loose ball scramble.

Trailing 38-32, the Mount scored the final seven points of the half to take a 39-38 lead at the break.  Krajina scored on a put back and a hook shot in the lane ahead of a Sam Prescott three-pointer right before the buzzer that put the Mount ahead.

Krajina led the Mount with eight points and four rebounds while Owens added seven points and five boards in the opening half.

The Mount was 16-for-34 (.471) from the field in the first half, forcing 11 CCSU turnovers.  The Blue Devils shot 60.0 percent (15-of-25), and were 8-for-15 (.533) from three-point range.  CCSU hit seven of their first eight three-point attempts in the game.

The Mount returns home to face Wagner on Thursday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m. at Knott Arena.

Game Notes:  The win snapped the Mount's three-game losing streak overall and six-game losing streak on the road…This was the Mount's first win at Central Connecticut State since Dec. 8, 2007.