Christie's Layup With 8.5 Seconds Left Caps Furious Second-Half Comeback In 44-43 Win Against LIU
EMMITSBURG, Md. – Ashley Christie (Miamisburg, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) capped a 16-6 run with a layup with 8.5 seconds left to lift Mount St. Mary's past Long Island 44-43 in a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
The Mount (3-4, 1-0 NEC) trailed 37-28 with 10:14 remaining, but scored 16 of the final 24 points to edge one of the NEC's preseason top teams. The Blackbirds (5-2, 0-1 NEC) grabbed a 43-42 lead with 23 seconds left after She'tiarra Pledger converted two free throws. Christie then drove down the left side of the lane and kissed the ball of the glass for decisive basket with 8.5 seconds left. The sophomore missed the free throw and Long Island's Ashley Palmer corralled the rebound. Palmer then got the ball in the lane and made a spin move and threw the ball over her head toward the basket. The ball went out of bounds and the Mountaineers were able to get the ball inbounds to secure the victory.
Christie finished the game with seven points, but her layup was her only field goal of the afternoon. Sydney Henderson paced Mount St. Mary's with 11 points and six rebounds. Jessie Kaufman (Damascus, Md./Damascus) recorded all nine of her points in the squad's decisive run to end the contest.
Palmer led the Blackbirds with 17 points and eight rebounds. Kiara Evans added seven points and five rebounds in the losing effort.
For the second-straight game Mount St. Mary's started the game slowly, but was able to make a furious comeback in the second half to end a four-game losing streak against the Blackbirds and open league play with a win for the first time since defeating Wagner 83-70 on Dec. 4, 2006.
Long Island took the lead midway through the first half and seemed destined to earn its fifth-straight win against the Mountaineers and 17th of the last 20 meetings, but then Mount St. Mary's stormed back to steal the victory from the Blackbirds.
Cleandra Roberts handed Long Island a 37-28 lead with 10:14 on the clock before the Mount closed the game on a 16-6 run to earn the come-from-behind victory.
Selina Mann (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) started the run by making the backend of two free throws at 9:56. Kaufman hit a jumper at 9:25 before Evans hit 1 of 2 at the free throw line at 9:09 to make it a seven-point game. Kaufman then hit a trey at 8:55 before Tamika Guz and Kaufman traded baskets to keep it a four-point game with 8:07 left.
After Christie converted two free throws at 6:22 to cut the deficit to 40-38 with 6:22 on the clock, Kaufman tied the game at 40 with a put-back layup at 4:15.
The Blackbirds momentarily took the lead back when Palmer hit the second of two free throws at 2:51. Rachel Mathews (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) answered by hitting a pair of charity tosses at 2:27 to hand the Mountaineers a 42-41 lead. Pledger then converted two free throws with 23 ticks left to reclaim the lead for Long Island and set up Christie's heroics.
The Blackbirds jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of baskets by Palmer and an Evans bucket before the Mountaineers scored 10 of the next 14 points to tie the game at 10. Sandra Andresson (Tallinn, Estonia/Audentes School) fueled the run with four points.
Long Island then scored nine of the next 11 points thanks to points from four different players to take the lead until the final minutes of the game. The Blackbirds went into the locker room with a 25-17 lead fueled by 12 first-half points by Palmer.
Long Island grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 33-21 with 14:48 remaining after a Roberts layup. Freshman Jen Carney (Drexel Hills, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) sparked the Mount with five-straight points. After making her collegiate debut against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the freshman was the first player off the bench on Saturday. Still looking for her first career points, Carney nailed a 3-pointer as time expired on the shot clock for her first collegiate basket at 14:15 and then converted her own steal with a breakaway layup at 13:41 to trim the margin to 33-26.
Palmer answered with a layup at 13:24 before Christie hit two free throws at 10:37 to make it a seven-point game. Roberts then scored in the lane to give the Blackbirds a 37-28 lead, but the Mount ended the game by scoring 16 of the final 24 points to come away with the victory courtesy of Christie's decisive basket with 8.5 seconds left.
The Mount rallied from a 10-point deficit for the first time since coming back from 17 points down against San Francisco on Dec. 31, 2010.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action at home against St. Francis (N.Y.) on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.