Mount St. Mary's Rallies Past Hartford, 70-63, in Home Opener

Mount St. Mary's Rallies Past Hartford, 70-63, in Home Opener

Emmitsburg, Md. (November 13, 2012)--Junior Rashad Whack scored a career-high 20 points as Mount St. Mary's rallied to a 70-63 win over Hartford in the home opener at Knott Arena on Tuesday night.  It was the first career victory for first-year head coach Jamion Christian.

Trailing 53-48 with 9:33 remaining in the game, the Mount (1-1) rattled off a 12-0 run over the next 1:21 to take a 60-53 advantage.  Whack kick-started the run with a three-pointer and Josh Castellanos then tied the game on a lay-up after a Hartford miss.

Freshman Shivaughn Wiggins then drained a three-pointer from the left corner to give the Mount a 56-53 lead, its first lead since holding a 10-9 edge early in the first half.

Prescott then got a steal off a Hartford turnover on the next possession, drove the lane, and converted a tough lay-up while being fouled on the play.  The foul was an intentional foul, and Prescott calmly sank both free throws to give the Mount its largest lead of the game at 60-53.

The Hawks whittled the Mount advantage to 62-60 after a traditional three-point play by Mark Nwakamma with 1:59 left, but Castellanos was able to convert a pair of free throws 13 seconds later to restore a four-point lead.

Julian Norfleet's floater in the lane with 50 seconds left pushed the lead to 66-60 and he and Castellanos each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

It was the first career win for Christian, the fifth-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I at 30 years of age.  The 2004 graduate of Mount St. Mary's is the 22nd coach in Mount history.

Whack finished with a team-high 20 points while adding six rebounds and four steals in the victory.  Prescott chipped in 12 points and four rebounds while Norfleeet added 10 points and four assists.  Castellanos had eight points and a game-high seven assists for the Mountaineers as well.

Nwakamma scored a game-high 21 points while adding eight rebounds in the loss for Hartford.  Yolonzo Moore (15 points), Evan Cooper (14 points) and John Peterson (11) all added double figures in the loss.

Mount St. Mary's shot 51.0 percent in the game, including 8-of-21 (.381) from three-point range.  Hartford shot 52.4 percent in the game, but committed 20 turnovers, leading to 22 Mount points.

The Hawks held a 35-32 lead at the break, outrebounding the Mount 18-to-6 in the opening half.

The Mount returns to action on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. game at American.  The game will be televised live on Comcast Sports Net.

Game Notes:  The Mount is now 2-0 all-time against Hartford...Mount St. Mary's improved to 16-9 in home openers since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89, and is 80-24 all-time in home openers.