Men's Basketball Returns to Northeast Conference Play with Home Tilt vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday Night

Men's Basketball Returns to Northeast Conference Play with Home Tilt vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday Night

Mount St. Mary's Returns to NEC Play Versus Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday Night

Mount St. Mary's returns to Knott Arena on Thursday night to face Saint Francis (Pa.) in a rematch of last year's Northeast Conference Tournament Quarterfinal matchup won by the Mount, 65-50.

The Mount (3-12), which has played just one home gave over the past nine contests, is led by junior guard Lamar Trice, who is averaging 12.8 points per game this season. Trice scored a team-high 16 points in the Mount's loss at Virginia Tech on Sunday. Freshman guard Julian Norfleet is the only other Mountaineer in double figures at 10.3 points per game.

Mount St. Mary's had its 11-game win streak in NEC regular season game snapped by Quinnipiac, 77-75, in overtime in early December. The Mountaineers are 11-1 over their past 12 NEC regular season games and have won eight straight NEC regular season home games dating back to last year.

Saint Francis (Pa.) has dropped nine straight games and enters Thursday's contest 2-11 overall and 0-2 in the NEC. The Red Flash lost at North Carolina, 103-54, on Sunday. Will Felder had 18 points and seven boards in the loss to the Tar Heels.

Umar Shannon paces the Red Flash in scoring at 13.2 points per game while Felder is averaging 10.9 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds. Saint Francis (Pa.) is 0-10 on the road this season.

Did You Know?...The Mount returns to Northeast Conference play against Saint Francis (Pa.). The Mountaineers are 1-1 this season in league play and have a 56-36 (.609) record in NEC regular season games since the 2005-06 season. The Mount has posted three-consecutive winning seasons in NEC play and are an impressive 16-2 at home over the past two years in NEC regular season home games. This season, the Mount opened conference play on the road, defeating Sacred Heart (66-52) while falling to NEC preseason favorite Quinnipiac at the buzzer (77-75). Mount St. Mary's has advanced to at least the NEC Tournament semifinals in each of the past five years.

The All-Time Series... This will be the 64th meeting in the all-time series between the Mount and Saint Francis (Pa.).

* The all-time series dates back to Jan. 21, 1916, where the Mount lost to the Red Flash, 17-15, at home at Flynn Hall on campus.

* Mount St. Mary's has won 10 of the past 11 matchups between the two schools to take a 35-28 lead in the all-time series.

* The Mount has won seven in a row at home against Saint Francis (Pa.), winning those contests by an average of 16.7 points. All seven wins were by 12 points or more.

* Last year, the Mount won two of the three matchups, including a 65-50 victory in the Northeast Conference Quarterfinals at Knott Arena. The Red Flash earned a 73-66 win against the Mount at home on Dec. 5 while the Mountaineers returned the favor with a 67-51 victory at Knott Arena on Feb. 25.

* Mount St. Mary's is 21-20 all-time against Saint Francis (Pa.) in Northeast Conference regular season matchups, including 14-7 at Knott Arena.

* All-time, the Mount is 23-9 at home against Saint Francis (Pa.).

* The two teams have met three times in the NEC Tournament with the Mount posting a pair of wins. The Mount downed the Red Flash, 65-50, at home in the NEC Quarterfinals last year while posting a 60-50 win over Saint Francis in the 1998 NEC Quarterfinals. Saint Francis defeated the Mount, 85-79, in the NEC Tournament First Round in 1992.

Last Time Out...The Mount lost at Virginia Tech, 99-34, on Sunday.

* Junior guard Lamar Trice paced the Mount with 16 points. Trice hit a career-high five three-pointers in the game.

* The Mount shot just 17.0 percent (9-of-53) from the field in the game. Virginia Tech shot 69.2 percent (36-of-52).

* The 34 points scored were the fewest by a Mount team since a 52-29 loss to St. Francis (N.Y.) on Dec. 17, 1947.

Tough Stretch...The Mountaineers have lost eight straight games.

* The Mount has played just one home game over the eight-game stretch that included games against Penn State, Northwestern, Vermont and Virginia Tech.

* The Mount lost nine in a row last year, joining the 1951-52 team for the school mark for most consecutive losses in a season.

* The school record for consecutive overall losses is 10 set during the final nine games of the 1951-52 season and the first game of teh 1952-53 campaign.

Mount Returns to NEC Play...Mount St. Mary's has completed the non-conference portion of the schedule and will play only Northeast Conference games the rest of the way.

* Mount St. Mary's, which is 1-1 so far this year in the NEC, has posted three-straight winning seasons in conference play.

* Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Mount is 56-36 (.609) in NEC regular season games.

* The Mount has advanced to at least the NEC Tournament semifinals in each of the past five years. The Mount won the NEC in 2008 and lost in the NEC Championship game the following season in 2009.

* The Mount has won eight NEC regular season home games in a row and is 16-2 in NEC regular season games at Knott Arena over the past two seasons.

* Overall, the Mountaineers are 19-2 over their past 21 home games against NEC opponents including the playoffs.

* The Mount's 77-75 loss to Quinnipiac in early December snapped the team's 11-game NEC regular season win streak. That 11-game streak matched the school record of 11 NEC wins in a row set in 1994-96.

Trice as Nice...Junior guard Lamar Trice is one of the most-improved players in the Northeast Conference.

* Trice leads the Mount in scoring at 12.8 points per game, having scored in double figures in 10 of the team's 15 contests.

* The 5-11 guard has improved his scoring average by 10.9 points from last season. Trice averaged 1.9 points per game in limited action last season for the Mountaineers.

* Trice scored a career-high 21 points in the Mount's 66-52 win at Sacred Heart.

* He also leads the Mount in assists (46) and steals (17).

Road Weary...The Mountaineers are happy to return to Knott Arena this week.

* Mount St. Mary's opened the year by playing 11 of its first 15 games away from home., going 1-10 in those road contests.

* The Mount is averaging just 55.4 points per game on the road this year, shooting 38.2 percent from the floor and 26.4 percent from three-point range.

* The Mount has played eight of its past nine games on the road, having just one home game over the past 37 days.

Struggling on the Offensive End...The Mountaineers have been struggling on the offensive end of the court, averaging 51.1 points over the past seven games.

* During the seven-game stretch, the Mount is shooting 35.5 percent from the floor and 28.7 percent from three-point range.

* Lamar Trice is the only Mount player in double figures over the past seven games at 12.9 points per game.

* The Mountaineers have been held under 60 points in five of the seven games.

The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The Mount is 185-194 all-time in NEC regular season games.

* The Mount is 110-78 at home and 75-116 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.

The Scoring Charts...Jean Cajou and Shawn Atupem are among the top 50 scorers in Mount St. Mary's history.

* Cajou currently ranks 45th all-time at the Mount with 963 points while Atupem is 48th with 922.

* The duo are looking to become the 42nd and 43rd players in Mount history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Cajou Returns...Senior guard Jean Cajou has returned to the team, making his season debut at Virginia Tech on Sunday.

* Cajou has 963 points in 99 career games. He is 37 points shy of becoming the 42nd player in Mount history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

* Cajou was named to's Mid-Major All-Defensive Team last year.

Barber Leads NEC in Field Goal Percentage...Sophomore Raven Barber leads the Northeast Conference in field goal percentage at 66.7 percent.

* The 6-8 forward is averaging 9.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this year.

* Barber scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the Mount's loss at Albany.

* Barber is shooting 75.9 percent (22-of-29) from the field over the past five games.

Wins vs. Losses...A look inside the numbers in the Mount's wins vs. losses.

* Mount St. Mary's is averaging 68.0 points while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range in the team's three wins.

* In the 12 losses, the Mount is averaging 56.2 points while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 25.4 percent from three-point range.

* Senior forward Shawn Atupem is averaging 14.3 points in the team's three victories, shooting 66.7 percent in those games. In the Mount's losses, Atupem is averaging 8.7 points while shooting 39.4 percent from the floor.

Cajou at the Line...Senior guard Jean is second all-time at the Mount in career free throw percentage.

* Cajou is shooting 82.2 percent (233-for-285) in his career at the charity stripe.

* Mark Scallion (1983-87) is the Mount's all-time leader in free throw percentage at 84.8 percent (228-for-269).

Boardwork...Rebounding has been a concern for head coach Robert Burke this season.

* The Mountaineers are 11th in the Northeast Conference in both rebounding margin (5.6) and offensive rebounds (10.27).

* In the latest Ken Pomeroy ratings (, the Mount is 324th out of 345 teams in opponents offensive rebound percentage. The Mount's opponents are rebounding 38.7 percent of their missed shots this season.

Thompson Picking Up the Boards...Junior forward Danny Thompson has picked it up on the glass.

* The 6-7 forward, who made his first career start at Northwestern, is averaging 7.3 rebounds over the past four games. He grabbed a career-best 11 boards in the Mount's overtime loss at Vermont.

* Thompson has pulled down seven or more boards in five of the past eight games, averaging 6.8 rebounds over that stretch.

* Thompson leads the Mount and is fifth in the Northeast Conference in blocks (1.33). He has posted a career-high four blocks on two occasions this season.

Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.

* Mount St. Mary's had its 11-game homecourt win streak snapped by Navy, 81-68, on November 29. It was the Mount's second 11-game homecourt win streak since the start of the 2008-09 season.

* Mount St. Mary's is 24-7 (.774 winning pct.) at home over the past two-plus 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 171-119 (.590) record at Knott Arena.

Non-Conference Numbers...The Mount finished the non-conference schedule with a 2-11 mark, going 2-2 at home and 0-9 on the road.

* Since joining NCAA Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference play. The Mountaineers are 62-152 (.290) in non-conference games since the move to Division I in 1988-89.

* Of those 214 non-conference games, 128 have been on the road, 66 at home and 20 at a neutral site.

* The Mount is 20-108 on the road, 35-31 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.

Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started a trio of freshmen (Josh Castellanos, David Golladay, Julian Norfleet) in seven games this year.

* It was the first time since Nov. 30, 2005, that the Mount had a trio of freshmen in the starting five. That game, Joey Butler, Sam Atupem and Markus Mitchell started against La Salle.

* Golladay and Norfleet started the first four games for the Mount this season. It was 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.

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.

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.

Brown Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Brown averaged averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year and was expected to start this year. In addition, sophomore Kristijan Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, has missed all 15 games this season with an ankle injury.

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.

Strong Debut...Freshman guard Julian Norfleet tallied 15 points in his collegiate debut at Dayton

* 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.

* Norfleet had 16 points in his Mount debut, the most by a Mount player in their first home game since Jeremy Goode had 18 in a double-overtime win against James Madison in the 2006 home opener.

Norfleet Named NEC Co-Rookie of the Week...Freshman Julian Norfleet was named the Northeast Conference Co-Rookie of the Week on November 20.

* The freshman averaged 11.5 points per game in a win over Savannah State and a loss to Cincinnati.

* In a 69-59 loss at Cincinnat, Nofleet drilled a three-pointer with 59 seconds left to pull the Mount within 62-58. He finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and three assists.

* In the Mount's 68-62 overtime win over Savannah State, Norfleet's clutch shooting down the stretch helped the Mount rally from a seven-point deficit. Trailing 41-34 with eight minutes left, Norfleet hit a pair of three-pointers in a 12-0 run that helped the Mount regain the lead.

* After Savannah State rallied to send the game into overtime, Norfleet connected for a three-pointer 21 seconds into the extra session to give the Mountaineers the lead for good. He finished the game with a season-high 16 points, including a 5-for-10 mark from beyond the arc.

* Norfleet is the first Mountaineer to earn NEC Rookie of the Week honors since Shawn Atupem won the award on Feb. 18, 2008.

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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