Mount St. Mary's Downs Savannah State, 68-62, in Overtime

Mount St. Mary's Downs Savannah State, 68-62, in Overtime

Emmitsburg, Md. (November 20, 2010)--Shawn Atupem (Newport News, Va./Woodside) scored 18 points and Julian Norfleet (Virginia Bech, Va./Landstown) added 16 points to lead Mount St. Mary's to a 68-62 overtime victory against visiting Savannah State on Saturday night. The win was the first career victory for first-year Mount St. Mary's head coach Robert Burke.

Norfleet drained a three-pointer 21 seconds into the overtime period and Atupem followed with a traditional three-point play just under a minute later to give the Mount the lead for good in overtime.

The Mount (1-2) was able to extend the margin to 66-57 on a pair of Atupem free throws with 43 seconds left, but Savannah State (1-4) would not go away, cutting the deficit to 66-62 after Jovonni Shuler hit a three-pointer and then converted a tip-in with 15 seconds on the clock. Norfleet then hit 1-of-2 at the line and Shuler missed a three-pointer. Lamar Trice (Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter) hit 1-of-2 with eight seconds left to seal the victory.

Atupem hit 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 at the line for his game-high 18 points. He added six rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Mountaineers. Norfleet hit 5-of-10 from three-point range for his career-best 16 points while Trice added 10 points and six rebounds in the winning effort.

Shuler led all scorers with 23 points while Preston Blackmon and Joshua Montgomery chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Savannah State.

Mount St. Mary's started the game off quickly, taking a 21-to-8 lead on an Atupem lay-up with 10:09 left in the first half. Savannah State was able to whittle the deficit to 28-20 at the half.

The Tigers opened the second half with a 21-to-6 spurt to grab a 41-34 lead with just over eight minutes remaining. Mount St. Mary's did not falter, countering with a 12-0 run to grab a 46-41 advantage. Norfleet hit a pair of three-pointers during the run, including one with 5:16 left that gave the Mount a 46-41 lead.

Another Norfleet three-pointer gave the Mount a 49-44 advantage, but Savannah State hung tough, tying the game at 51-51 on a Blackmon bucket with 2:21 left in regulation. Atupem scored on the Mount's next possession, converting his own miss for a 53-51 lead. The teams exchanged turnovers, giving Savannah State the ball with 40 seconds left in regulation.

Shuler missed a jumper, but forced a jump ball on the rebound, giving Savannah State the ball with 4.9 seconds left. Shuler then drove to the basket and scored with 0.4 seconds on the clock to force overtime.

The Mount shot 44.7 percent from the field in the game and was 19-of-28 (.679) at the foul line in the contest. Savannah State shot 39.7 percent in the game.

The win was the first career victory for Burke, who took over the Mount program in May after serving as a Division I assistant the past 22 seasons. Burke is just the third head coach at the Mount over the past 57 seasons. Legendary coach Jim Phelan won 830 games as the Mount's head coach from 1954-2003. Milan Brown was the Mount's coach the past seven years.

Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Monday night at Niagara with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.

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