Men's Basketball Hosts Savannah State on Saturday Night in Home Opener

Men's Basketball Hosts Savannah State on Saturday Night in Home Opener

Mount Welcomes Savannah State for Home Opener

Mount St. Mary's hosts Savannah State on Saturday night in the home opener at Knott Arena. The Mount is coming off a 69-59 loss at Cincinnati on Monday.

The Mount's second-half rally against the Bearcats came up just short on Monday. Trailing by 21 early in the second half, Mount St. Mary's cut the deficit to 62-58 on a Julian Norfleet three-pointer with 59 seconds on the clock. Cincinnati converted 7-of-8 from the foul line the rest of the way to hold on for the victory.

Shawn Atupem paced the Mount with 14 points and seven rebounds while Danny Thompson chipped in a career-high 11 points. Lamar Trice added a career-best 10 points while Raven Barber added nine in the game.

Cincinnati was led by Sean Kilpatrick's 21 points off the bench. Cincinnati closed out the first half on a 19-to-4 run to take a 40-21 lead at the half. The Bearcats extended the margin to 46-25 before the Mount rallied.

Atupem leads the Mount in scoring (14.0) and rebounding (8.0) this season while Norfleet is second on the team at 11.0 points per game. Trice is averaging 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while Thompson is averaging 8.5 points while shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.

Savannah State lost at Florida A&M, 64-53, Thursday night. Jovonni Shuler led the way with 25 points, hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range in the game. Shuler leads the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game while Preston Blackmon is averaging 10.5 ppg.

Did You Know?...Mount St. Mary's has won nine straight games at Knott Arena and is 22-5 at home over the past two seasons. Last season, the Mount's home-opening win over Loyola stretched the team's homecourt win streak to 11 games. The Mount had that streak snapped by Niagara and losses to Vermont and St. Francis (N.Y.) followed, but the Mountaineers recovered by winning the final nine games at Knott Arena, including a 65-50 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in the NEC Tournament.

Home Openers...The Mount's game against Savannah State is the home opener.
* The Mount has posted a 14-8 record in home openers since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89.
* The Mountaineers have won two straight and five of their past six home openers at Knott Arena. Last year, the Mount defeated rival Loyola, 63-44, in the home opener on November 21.
* The Mount is 78-23 all-time in home openers, including a 64-15 mark prior to the move to NCAA Division I.
* Four of the Mount's 22 D1 home openers have gone to overtime. The last overtime home opener was an 81-70 double-overtime win against James Madison on Nov. 14, 2005.

Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.
* Mount St. Mary's has won its past nine games at Knott Arena, its second streak of nine games or more since the start of the 2008-09 season. The Mount won 11 consecutive home games over the course of the end of the 2008-09 season and the beginning of the 2009-10 year.
* Mount St. Mary's is 22-5 (.815 winning pct.) at home over the past two seasons. Last year, the Mount went 10-3 at home after posting a 12-2 mark at Knott Arena in 2008-09.
* The Mount has been even better in Northeast Conference play, posting a 16-2 mark over its past 18 NEC regular season home games. Including the playoffs, the Mount has won 19 of its past 21 home games against NEC opponents on Jim Phelan Court.
* The Mount has recorded a winning record at home in each of the past five seasons and has been .500 or better at home in 18 of the 23 seasons since Knott Arena opened.
* All-time, the Mount has a 169-117 (.591) record at Knott Arena.

Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started freshmen Julian Norfleet and David Golladay in each of the first two games this season.
* It is the first time the Mount has had a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup since Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler started at Maryland on Dec. 28, 2006.
* Norfleet had 15 points in 34 minutes while Golladay chipped in two points and three rebounds in 23 minutes in the season opener at Dayton.
* In addition, freshman Josh Castellanos had four points and four assists in 19 minutes of action on Saturday.

Third Coach in 57 Years...Robert Burke became the third men's basketball coach in 57 years at the Mount when his hiring was announced on May 10.
* Burke comes to the Mount with 22 years of Division I coaching experience, including helping 10 of his last 12 teams reach the postseason and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2007 Final Four with Georgetown. He has coached 39 players who earned all-conference honors. In addition, he was named one of the top-10 assistant coaches in country according to a peer survey conducted by Fox Sports in 2008.
* He was an assistant coach under Jeff Jones at American last year. The previous nine seasons, he worked with John Thompson III at Georgetown (five years) and Princeton (four years). Burke was an assistant for Paul Hewitt at Siena (three seasons) while also serving as an assistant at Loyola Marymount (three seasons) and Maryland-Baltimore County (six seasons).
* Legendary Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan was at the helm of the program for 49 years (1954-2003), posting 830 career wins. The Mount won the NCAA College Division National Championship in 1962 under Phelan while advancing to five NCAA Division II Final Fours. Phelan guided the Mount to the 1995 and 1999 NCAA Division I Tournaments.
* Milan Brown coached the Mount the past seven seasons, leading the team to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Strong Debut...Freshman guard Julian Norfleet tallied 15 points in his collegiate debut at Dayton on Saturday.
* The 15 points were the most by a Mount player in their collegiate debut since 2002. Landy Thompson, who is eighth all-time at the Mount with 1,733 career points, had 28 points in his first collegiate game at North Carolina State on Nov. 22, 2002.
* The only other double-digit performance by a freshman in their first game at the Mount since 2002 was from Sam Atupem, who had 13 points at Virginia Tech on Nov. 18, 2005. Atupem is the older brother of current Mountaineer Shawn Atupem.

The Mount in November...Since joining NCAA Division I in 1988-89, the Mount has not been giving thanks for its games in November, posting an all-time record of 13-58 in the month.
* A key factor in the Mount's November record is that 50 of the 71 games have been played on the road. The Mount has a 4-46 record in those contests.
* The Mount has posted a 3-6 record on the road in November over its past nine games, beginning with an 84-76 win at Loyola to start the 2008-09 season.
* The Mount has played just 15 home games in the month of November since joining NCAA Division I, posting a 7-8 mark in those games.
* All-time, the Mount is 35-66 in November. The Mountaineers were 22-9 in November games prior to the move to D1.
* At the D1 level, the Mount is a combined 2-30 in November games against teams from the Atlantic 10, Big East, Big 10, Conference USA and Southeast Conference.

Brown and Krajina Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown and sophomore Kristijan Krajina are out indefinitely with injuries. Brown, who averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year, is out with a foot injury. Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, is out with an ankle injury.

Returning Players by the Numbers...The Mount has an inexperienced group to start the 2010-11 season.
* Prior to the season opener at Dayton, the entire roster has combined for 62 career starts. Senior forward Shawn Atupem started all 31 games last year while sophomores Raven Barber (21) and Kristijan Krajina (10) also started games last season.
* The Mount's perimeter players are comprised of a senior, a junior and four freshmen. The group had combined for a total of zero career starts before Saturday's game at Dayton.
* Entering the season, senior Shawn Atupem has combined for more career points (775) than the rest of the returning roster (557).

Global Sports Main Event...The Mount is in the Global Sports Main Event, a five-team round robin exempt in-season tournament.
* The tournament field is comprised of Mount St. Mary's, Cincinnati, Dayton, Florida A&M and Dayton.
* The Mount has road games at Dayton (Nov. 13) and Cincinnati (Nov. 15) while playing Savannah State (Nov. 20) and Florida A&M (Nov. 27).
* The Mount has not participated in an in-season tournament since the 2005 San Juan Shootout. The Mountaineers lost to Akron (74-61) and Chattanooga (85-74, ot) before downing Liberty (63-59) at the event.

Mount Signs Taylor Danaher to NLI... Mount St. Mary's has signed Taylor Danaher (Fredericksburg, Va./Fredericksburg Christian School) to a National Letter of Intent to enroll at the Mount next fall.
* Danaher, a 6-10, 200-pound center with a 7-2 wingspan, averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior while playing in the Central Virginia Homeschool Athletic Association.
* He was named First Team All-Tournament at the Homeschool Sports Network Championships last March. Danaher played AAU with the Hoop Booth organization.

BCS Flavor...The Mount will be playing four teams from BCS conferences this season, the most in school history.
* Mount St. Mary's has road games against Cincinnati (Big East), Penn State (Big 10), Northwestern (Big 10) and Virginia Tech (ACC).
* The Mount has played three BCS schools in the same season on 10 occasions, including each of the past four years.

Picking Up Where He Left Off...Senior forward Shawn Atupem has scored 14 points in each of the Mount's first two games this season.
* Atupem is averaging 8.0 rebounds per game this year after collecting 3.5 caroms per game last year.
* Atupem scored in double figures in six of the Mount's final seven games last season, including a career high 23 points in a 63-61 win over Robert Morris.
* Atupem averaged 14.6 points and 3.7 rebounds over that stretch while hitting 43-of-59 (72.9 percent) from the field.
* The 6-7 forward had a streak 14 consecutive made field goals during the seven-game stretch.
* Atupem scored in double figures in 18 of the Mount's 31 games, averaging 10.7 points while converting 51.1 percent from the field last season.

Trice Fills Stat Sheet...Junior guard Lamar Trice is averaging 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season.
* Trice posted a career high 10 points in the Mount's 69-59 loss at Cincinnati. He had a career-best seven rebounds in the season opener at Dayton.

Road Warriors...Mount St. Mary's will play 11 of its first 15 games on the road this season.
* The Mount will play just one of nine games in the month of December at home (Dec. 20 vs. American).
* December begins with a five-game road trip that begins with Northeast Conference games at Sacred Heart (Dec. 2) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 4). The trip also will see the Mount play at Penn State (Dec. 7), Loyola (Dec. 11) and Albany (Dec. 20).
* After the home game with American, Mount St. Mary's will face a tough three-game stretch at Northwestern (Dec. 23), at Vermont (Dec. 29) and at Virginia Tech (Jan. 2).

Cajou Takes Leave of Absence... Senior guard Jean Cajou has withdrawn from school and taken a leave of absence for the fall 2010 semester.
* "As Jean's coaches, teammates and friends we miss him very much," said head coach Robert Burke. "We are extremely hopeful he will return to school and the court for the second semester."
* Cajou, named to the Mid-Major All-Defensive team last season, averaged 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 2009-10.
* The 6-3 guard has started every game over the past two seasons, averaging 9.8 points in 98 career games for the Mountaineers.
* The 2008 Northeast Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player has 963 career points with 323 rebounds, 169 assists and 115 three-pointers made at the Mount.

Non-Conference Numbers...Since joining NCAA Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference play. The Mountaineers are 60-144 (.294) in non-conference games since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 204 non-conference games, 121 have been on the road, 63 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-101 on the road, 33-30 at home and 7-13 at a neutral site in non-conference action since 1988-89.
* The Mount has had just one winning season in non-conference play at the Division I level. The 2002-03 team went 5-4 in non-conference action before finishing the season with a 11-16 record.

The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The Mount is 184-193 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 110-78 at home and 74-115 on the road during the NEC regular season.
* Mount St. Mary's has posted a winning record in nine of the 21 seasons the team has been in the league.
* Since joining the league in 1989-90, the Mount has had 17 All-NEC selections, including six first-team honorees.
* The Mount won NEC Tournament titles in 1995, 1999 and 2008 and won the NEC regular season crown in 1995-96.

International Appeal...Sophomore Kristijan Krajina is the Mount's first international player since Pat Atangana (Cameroon, 2000-04).
* The Mount has had three other European players in the team's history. Robert Balgac (1996-00, New Belgrade, Serbia), Gerben Van Dorpe (Erembodegem, Belgium, 1994-98) and Matt Meakin (Awsworth, England) are the others.
* Other international players to don the Mount uniform include Rodolpho Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1920-24), Roberto Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1926-27) and Paul Miller (Havana, Cuba, 1920-21).

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