West Long Branch, N.J. (March 10,2013)-- Ashley Christie's contested layup with eight seconds left in overtime sent sixth-seeded Mount St. Mary's to a 59-57 upset win over third-seeded Monmouth in the Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Sunday at the MAC. The playoff win for the Mount is the program's first since the 2000-01 season. The Mount will move onto the semifinals to face top-seeded Quinnipiac on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Hamden, Conn.
The Mount (15-15) trailed by five points at 54-49 with 3:42 left in the overtime period but outscored the Hawks (15-15) 10-3 the rest of the way to come away with the win. Tied at 57-57, Tara Lonergan stole a Monmouth inbounds pass with 35 seconds to go to set up the final possession in overtime.
The Mount started off the game on a 6-2 run, fueled by a Lonergan steal that led to a layup on the other end. Lonergan had four points in the first four minutes of the game.
The Mountaineers continued their hot start by going on a 10-0 run, which saw the Mount score a layup in the lane by junior Kayla Grossett and a five-point spurt by Sydney Henderson. Henderson, who finished with a game-high 17 points, hit a three with the shot clock running down, that forced a Monmouth timeout.
Jacqueline Brewer also knocked down a three-pointer with 13:03 to go in the first half as part of the 16-2 stretch to open the game. Brewer finished with 12 points, including seven in the second half.
Three-consecutive Monmouth baskets cut the Mount's advantage to 16-8 with 6:48 to go in the opening 20 minutes. Later in the half, Selina Mann's runner in the lane gave the Mount a 12-point lead at 24-12 with 2:21 on the first-half clock. The Hawks trimmed the deficit to six in the final minute of the half before Henderson's jumper sent the Mount into halftime with a 26-18 lead.
The Mount held Monmouth to 6-for-32 shooting (18.8 percent) from the field in the first half and connected of 11 of their 30 field goal attempts (36.7 percent).
Monmouth opened the second half with an 11-4 run to cut into the Mount's lead and trailed by just one at 30-29 at the first media timeout with 15:01 remaining.
Following the break in action, the Hawks' run continued with a three-pointer from Carly Thibault to give Monmouth a 32-30 advantage with just under 15 minutes to go in regulation.
The Mount regained the lead, 39-38, on a pair of Rachel Mathews free throws at the 8:39 mark in the second half.
The action seesawed with both teams taking turns with the lead. Henderson's jumper gave the Mount a three-point cushion at 49-46 with 2:31 remaining, but a Monmouth layup by Abigail Martin followed by Alysha Womack's free throw with 13 seconds left forced the extra period with the score deadlocked at 49-49.
In the overtime period, the Mount forced five Monmouth turnovers, while committing zero on the other end. For the game, the Mount turned the ball over just 11 times, their second lowest total of the season.
Next up, the Mount will attempt to knock off top-seeded Quinnipiac on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the NEC Semifinals at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
NOTES: Mount St. Mary's is now 18-18 all time in NEC Tournament games. The Mount improves to 2-2 all time in the NEC Tournament against Monmouth… The Mount's last NEC Tournament win was a 50-45 defeat of Sacred Heart in the semifinals in 2001. The Mountaineers improved to 2-2 in overtime games this season.