Junior Chris Vann (Woodbridge, Va./Gar-Field) scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead Mount St. Mary's to a 58-43 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in Northeast Conference action at Knott Arena on Thursday night. The Mount scored 40 points in the second half to improve to 9-15 overall and 8-5 in the NEC. Saint Francis (Pa.) saw its school-record losing skid extend to 15 games.
Mount St. Mary's jumped to an 8-0 lead in the first 3:49 of the game before the Red Flash responded with an 8-0 run over the next nine minutes to even the score at 8-8. Saint Farncis (4-20, 1-12 NEC) took its biggest lead of the game, 18-13, after a Bassirou Dieng dunk with 2:30 left in the first half and led 20-18 at the break. The Mount finished the half shooting 30.4 percent from the field and did not have an assist in the opening 20 minutes.
The Mount took control from the opening of the second half, using a 22-10 run over the first eight minutes, capped by a Kelly Beidler (Virginia Beach, Va./Tallwood) three-pointer, to grab a 40-30 lead.
Vann was 10-for-16 from the field for his game-high 23 points while freshman point guard Jeremy Goode added 11 points in the win. Senior guard Mychal Kearse chipped in eight points, nine boards, three assists and three steals in the win. Cale Nelson scored a team-high 17 points off the bench for the Red Flash while Dieng finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Mount shot 55.2 percent in the second half to finish the game at 44.2 percent while holding Saint Francis (Pa.) to 34.0 percent in the game. The 43 points allowed by the Mount were the fewest in a game this season.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 10, when Robert Morris visits Knott Arena for a 7:00 p.m. tip.
Game Notes...Kearse had his nine-game double-figure scoring streak snapped in the game...He now has 970 career points, just 30 shy of becoming the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau...The two teams combined for nine assists in the game...The Mount moved into fourth place in the NEC with the victory.