Spartanburg, S.C. (November 18, 2017)—Junior Robinson's runner with 35 seconds remaining gave the Mount the lead, and Donald Carey hit four free throws down the stretch to lead Mount St. Mary's past North Florida, 84-81, on Saturday afternoon. The game was part of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and was played at Wofford. The nip-and-tuck game featured 17 lead changes and 10 ties.
Robinson led the Mount (1-3) with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jonah Antonio scored 15 of his career-high 18 points in the second half while Greg Alexander added 17 points off the bench in the win. Omar Habwe went 4-for-4 from the field for 11 points while Carey finished with four points and a game-high seven assists.
Garrett Sams led five North Florida (0-5) players in double figures with 16 points while Wajid Aminu had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ivan Gandia-Rosa had 14 points, JT Escobar 13 and Osborn Blount 11 in the loss.
With the score tied at 78-78, Robinson drove with the shot clock was winding down, and he banked home a runner from the free throw line to give the Mount a two-point lead. Gandia-Rosa was fouled with 22.2 seconds left, but he hit 1-of-2 to make it 80-79. Carey then hit both free throws in a one=and=one situation with 16.7 seconds left ahead of a Gandia-Rosa lay-up to make the score 82-81.
Carey was fouled again, and he calmly sank both free throws in another one-and-one situation with 8.1 seconds left to give the Mount an 84-81 advantage. Gandia-Rosa got free for a three-pointer at the buzzer, but his shot from the right wing was off the mark, and the Mount earned its first win of the season.
The Mount held a 71-66 lead with five minutes remaining after an Antonio three-pointer, but the Ospreys answered with six straight points to take the lead, 72-71, with 4:29 remaining. With the score tied 73-73, Robinson converted a basket, and Alexander a traditional three-point play to give the Mount a 78-73 lead with two minutes on the clock. Gandia-Rosa scored on a lay-up and then hit a triple with 1:01 left to even the score, setting up the final minute.
The Mount shot 48.4 percent overall and was 9-of-29 (.310) from three-point range in the win. Mount St. Mary's had 20 assists while committing just eight turnovers. North Florida shot 55.2 percent overall and was 7-of-18 (.389) from beyond the arc. The Mount hit 15-of-16 (.938) at the foul line.
In a back-and-forth first half that featured 13 lead changes and six ties, Robinson hit a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left to give the Mount a 42-41 lead at the break.
North Florida hit its first four shots from the field to take an early 11-6 lead. The Mount answered with an 11-to-1 run to take a 17-12 lead. Antonio hit a three-pointer ahead of a Robinson traditional three-point play to tie the score at 12-12. An Alexander triple and a pair of Bobby Planutis free throws capped the run to give the Mount a five-point advantage.
North Florida answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead, and from that point, the biggest lead for either team the remainder of the half was four points. The Mount held a 36-32 lead after a Habwe bucket in the paint off an assist from Ace Stallings, but the Ospreys scored the next seven points to take a 39-36 lead. Habwe and Alexander each hit buckets to make it 40-39, but North Florida's Osborn Blount hit two free throws with 10 seconds left in the half for a 41-40 lead. Robinson was then fouled with 3.3 secods left in the half, and he hit both free throws for a one-point Mount lead at the break.
Robinson finished the first half with 14 points and three assists to pace the Mountaineers. Habwe chipped in eight points while Alexander had seven in the half. Carey dished out five first-half assists as the Mount recorded 12 assists on 15 first-half baskets.
The Mount shot 15-of-31 (.484) from the field and 5-of-16 (.313) from three-point range in the opening half while the Ospreys shot 15-of-26 (.577) overall and 3-of-6 (.500) from beyond the arc.
Mount St. Mary's is back in action on Tuesday, November 21, when York (Pa.) visits Knott Arena for a 7:00 p.m. matchup. That game is also part of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The Mount will be unveiling the 2016-17 NEC Championship banners prior to tip-off.