Emmitsburg, Md. (March 5, 2014)--Rashad Whack's three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left capped a furious rally to lift fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary's to a 72-71 victory over fifth-seeded St. Francis Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at Knott Arena on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers (14-16) rallied from a 19-point deficit with 9:15 left in the game to earn the victory.
Trailing 64-53 with 1:53 remaining, Julian Norfleet hit four consecutive free throws for the Mount to cut the deficit to 65-57. On the ensuing inbounds, Gregory Graves forced a turnover, and was intentionally fouled. Graves hit 1-of-2 at the line, and Sam Prescott scored on the inbounds play to cut the St. Francis Brooklyn lead to 65-60.
The Terriers (18-14) hit 3-of-4 free throws to push the advantage back to 68-60 with 1:05 on the clock, but Prescott rebounded a missed three, and was then fouled shooting a three-pointer from the left corner with 54 seconds left. Prescott calmly sank all three free throws to make it 68-63.
After another St. Francis Brooklyn turnover, Norfleet was fouled with 44 seconds left, and he hit both free throws to cut the deficit to 68-65.
Yunus Hopkinson hit a pair of foul shots with 28 seconds left to make it a five-point game, but Graves answered on the other end with a lay-up off an offensive rebounds with 28 seconds to make it 70-67. Whack then stole the inbounds and converted a tough drive to make it 70-69 with 26 seconds on the clock.
Lowell Ulmer hit 1-of-2 at the line for the Terriers, but the Mount turned the ball over on its next possession, and sent Ulmer back to the line with 8.8 seconds remaining. Ulmer missed both shots, and the Mountaineers called timeout to set up the winning play.
The Mount inbounded the ball to Norfleet, who raced up court and scooped the ball back to Whack in the middle of the court near the three-point line. Whack dribbled to his left and nailed the shot from 23-feet with 2.4 seconds on the clock for the winning basket.
The Mount's Taylor Danaher intercepted the long inbounds pass to secure the victory.
Whack led all scorers in the game with 28 points while Norfleet finished with 17 points, six assists and five rebounds. The Mount's trio of seniors, Norfleet, Whack and Prescott, finished the game 12-for-42 from the field, but were 25-of-27 at the foul line. The three combined to score 54 of the Mount's 72 points in the game.
Ulmer led the Terriers with 18 points with Ben Mockford and Amdy Fall chipping in 10 points each in the loss.
The Mount shot just 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the floor in the win, but was 31-for-40 (77.5 percent) at the charity stripe. St. Francis Brooklyn shot 45.1 percent in the contest, and committed 13 second-half turnovers.
St. Francis Brooklyn controlled the first half, taking a 33-21 lead at the intermission. The Terriers stretched the margin to 56-37 with 9:15 left after a Fall tip-in.
Mount St. Mary's will now travel to third-seeded Wagner for the NEC Tournament semifinals. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
Game Notes: The Mount improves to 11-2 all-time at home in the NEC Tournament...Mount St. Mary's is now 4-0 all-time against St. Francis Brooklyn in the tournament...Mount St. Mary's fans looking to purchase tickets for the NEC semifinals can contact Wagner College at 718-420-4008.