Fairfield, Conn. (February 6, 2014)—Mount St. Mary's defeated Sacred Heart, 73-60, on Thursday night in Northeast Conference action at the Pitt Center. Rashad Whack scored a team-high 16 points to pace the Mount to the victory.
Whack finished with 16 points and five rebounds to lead four Mount players in double figures. Gregory Graves chipped in 14 points and seven boards while Will Miller added 14 points and five rebounds. Point guard Julian Norfleet added 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in the win.
Trailing 36-33 early in the second half, the Mount (10-12, 6-3 NEC) went on a 14-to-4 run to take a seven-point lead. Miller started the streak with a pair of free throws ahead of a Whack jumper. Montes scored in the paint for Sacred Heart, but Prescott answered with a triple from the left corner.
The Pioneers (4-20, 1-8 NEC) evened the score at 40-40 on a pair of Evans free throws, but the Mount responded by scoring the next seven points to take the lead. Gregory Graves hit a three-pointer to start the run, followed by a Prescott lay-up on an alley-oop pass from Norfleet, and a Khalid Nwandu drive to the rim.
The Mount stretched the lead to 57-45 on another Nwandu finish at the basket, and led comfortably the remainder of the game. The Mount shot 51.6 percent in the second half to finish at 43.3 percent for the contest. The Mountaineers were just 7-of-26 (.269) from beyond the arc, but outscored Sacred Heart 36-34 in the paint.
Louis Montes led Sacred Heart with 18 points and 10 boards with Steve Glowiak chipping in 13 points and eight boards.
Despite a cold-shooting first half, the Mount went to the locker room tied at 30-30. Mount St. Mary's shot 34 percent (10-of-29) overall and 21 percent (3-of-14) from three-point range in the half. The Mount, the top free throw shooting team in the NEC entering the game, was just 7-of-14 (50 percent) at the stripe in the first half.
Sacred Heart struggled from the field in the first half as well, shooting 32 percent (12-of-37) overall and 10 percent (1-of-10) from three-point range.
Sacred Heart used the energy from a vocal home crowd to take a 8-0 lead in the opening five minutes as the Mount went 0-for-7 from the field during that stretch. The Mountaineers got right back into the game with a quick 7-0 run that was capped by consecutive Norfleet buckets. The Mount eventually tied the score 14-14 on a Will Miller three-pointer with 11:04 left in the half.
The Pioneers were able to grab a 25-21 advantage on a De'Von Barrett free throw with 3:49 left in the half, but the Mount scored seven of the next nine points, taking a 28-27 lead on a Norfleet three-pointer. Sacred Heart's Glowiak hit a three on the next possession, and Whack countered with a pair of free throws to tie the game at the half.
The Mount returns to action on Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. game at Bryant.
Game Notes: The Mount has won nine in a row against the Pioneers and holds a 20-7 lead in the all-time series…The Mount has won three straight and six of the past eight games.