Loretto, Pa. (January 7, 2019) – Mount St. Mary's was clipped by Saint Francis U, 68-66, on Monday night in Northeast Conference women's action basketball action from DeGol Arena. Rebecca Lee tallied a career-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds for the Mountaineers to record her second career double-double.
The Mount (6-7, 0-2 NEC) trailed by one entering the fourth quarter, but jumped back ahead just over three minutes into the frame following a triple from Michaela Harrison. After a Saint Francis U (5-9, 2-0 NEC) bucket on the other end, Delaney Connors knocked down a three-pointer to make it a 59-57 Mount lead with 5:47 on the clock. Leah Morrow countered with a layup for the Red Flash on the team's next possession to knot things at 59-all just before the final media timeout.
After a Juliette Lawless drive and layup tied things once again just under the two-minute mark, Karson Swogger came down on the other end and knocked down a three from the corner to give SFU a 66-63 advantage with 1:35 on the clock. SFU forced a pair of misses from long range on the Mount's next possession, and Jess Kovatch converted two foul shots on the other end to pad the Red Flash lead to 68-63 with 44 seconds left.
The Mount called timeout and capitalized after the stoppage on a deep three-pointer from straight on by Michaela Harrison, which cut the deficit back to just two, 68-66, with 38 ticks left. The Red Flash worked the ball around on the ensuing possession and found Swogger in the corner, who drained a three-pointer. After a video review, the call was overturned and ruled a shot clock violation, giving the ball to the Mount with 6.8 seconds on the clock. After calling timeout to advance the ball, Daly Sullivan got a good look from the corner, but her potential game-winning three hit off the front iron and SFU escaped with a 68-66 victory.
Lee went 6-of-10 from the field to collect her career-high 16 points, while also pulling down a team-best 10 rebounds. Lawless recorded an 18-point performance behind an 8-of-8 mark from the line, and also contributed five boards. Bridget Birkhead knocked down four three-pointers to collect 12 points, and Harrison added 11 to round out the team's double-figure scorers.
For SFU, Kovatch notched a game-high 23 points, Morrow added 12, and Haley Thomas chipped in with 10.
Saint Francis U opened a 16-11 advantage following one quarter of play, and extended the lead to 22-13 just a minute and a half into the second. The Mount answered with an 8-2 run on a jumper by Harrison followed by six straight points from Lee to close the gap to 24-21 at the 5:54 mark.
The Red Flash countered the Mount's rally with a 7-0 run, all coming on free throws, while holding the Mount scoreless for over a four-minute stretch. The rally put SFU ahead by 10 before Alexis Wooden broke up the Mount drought with a pair of free throws with 1:16 on the clock. The Mountaineers forced a pair of misses by SFU on the next two possessions, and Harrison came down on the offensive end and drilled a three-pointer with five seconds left in the half. The ensuing in-bounds pass was stolen by Wooden, and her layup just beat the buzzer, capping off seven straight points for the Mountaineers to close out the half. The late surge brought the Mount within three, 31-28, at the intermission.
Lee (8p, 5r) and Wooden (6p, 6r) paced the Mount in the opening half, but the team shot just 33.3 percent as a whole and went 2-of-14 (.143) from deep. The Red Flash also struggled from the field, shooting just 28.6 percent overall in the half.
Coming out of the halftime break ahead by three, SFU padded its lead to 44-37 at the midway point of the third quarter. A layup from Lawless and a pair of three-pointers by Birkhead in the ensuing two minutes gave the Mount its first lead since the opening minutes of the contest. Lawless was also fouled after Birkhead's second three-pointer of the stretch went down, and she hit both from the line to make it a 47-44 Mount lead.
SFU re-took the advantage at the 2:12 mark of the period, but Birkhead's third triple of the quarter with 1:13 on the clock put the Mount back in front, 50-48. The Red Flash recorded the final three points of the frame to take a 51-50 advantage into the final quarter.
The decisive moments in the contest came in the final 1:35, as Swogger drained a clutch three, followed by a pair of free throws from Kovatch which made it a five-point advantage. The Mount fought back with a three from Harrison, but the team's potential game-winner as time expired just rimmed out.
Mount St. Mary's returns home to host its first conference game of the season on January 12 against Bryant at 1 p.m.