Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. (March 11, 2019) – Five Mount St. Mary's players finished with double-figure points to propel the Mountaineers to an 80-74 victory at St. Francis Brooklyn on Monday night in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Quarterfinals. The victory was the first for Mount St. Mary's in the playoffs since the 2013-14 campaign. Mount St. Mary's will face top-seeded Robert Morris in the NEC Semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. on the Colonials' home court.
Rookie Michaela Harrison finished with 23 points on 5-of-10 shooting, a 3-of-5 mark from long range, and a perfect 10-of-10 clip at the line to lead all scorers in the contest. The Cleveland, Ohio native came up huge in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of her 23 points in the period, with 10 of those coming from the charity stripe. Harrison's second three-pointer of the night put her at 80 threes on the season, which set a new Mount St. Mary's single-season three-point record. Myriam Baccouche held the previous record with 79 threes made during the 2003-04 campaign.
Jatarrikah Settle helped fuel the Mountaineers in the win, registering 13 points and 11 rebounds to collect her third double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. Settle also added four assists and four steals in the contest.
Bridget Birkhead knocked down a trio of three-pointers and finished with 14 points, while Juliette Lawless and Alexis Wooden each went 5-of-6 from the field and posted 10 points apiece to round out the double-figure scorers for the Mount.
The Mountaineers shot 46.2 percent overall in the game, including 58.3 percent (7-12) in the fourth quarter. They went just 7-of-24 (.292) from three-point territory, but hit 13-of-15 (.867) free throws on the night, 11 of which came in the final period.
"It was awesome to see so many different people step up for us at different moments tonight," said second-year Head Coach Maria Marchesano. "Tonight was the definition of a team win, and I couldn't be more proud of how our players kept their composure through the ups and downs of the game."
The Mount (15-15) trailed by a pair entering the fourth quarter but quickly tied it up on Birkhead's opening bucket of the period. The teams battled back and forth through much of the fourth quarter, as the first five minutes featured seven lead changes and four ties in the first five minutes.
Harrison hit a long ball as the clock dipped under the five-minute mark, which was her record-breaking three that gave her 80 on the season. The triple pushed the Mount's advantage to 69-65 with 4:49 remaining.
After Jade Johnson hit a pair from the line for the Terriers, Harrison countered with two free throws of her own to make it a four-point lead once again. The Mount forced a pair of misses of SFC's next possession before calling timeout at the 3:10 mark. Coming out of the stoppage, Harrison knocked down a straight-away three off a feed from Alexis Wooden to increase the lead to 74-67 with 2:55 left.
Ally Lassen made 1-of-2 at the line on the Terriers' next possession, but Harrison answered by getting to the line and making both to pad the advantage to eight with under two minutes remaining. Maria Palarino scored four straight for SFC on the team's next two possessions, which cut the deficit to 76-72 with 58 seconds showing on the clock. After a Mount St. Mary's timeout, Settle was fouled but couldn't convert on either attempt at the line, and Amy O'Neill came down with the board for St. Francis. The Terriers brought the ball down the court and Samantha Keltos was fouled in the paint. Keltos got injured on the play, forcing SFC to sub in Mia Ehling for the free throw attempts. Ehling calmy sank both foul shots, bringing the Terriers within a pair, 76-74, with 23 seconds left.
On the next possession, Ebony Horton got a clutch steal for the Terriers and they called timeout with 18 seconds remaining. Coming out of the timeout, Palarino got to the paint and tried to go up for the game-tying bucket, but Harrison stripped her on the way up to come away with the steal. Harrison was fouled and made both clutch foul shots with seven seconds left to pad the Mount's lead to 78-74.
Following a timeout to advance the ball, Johnson's three-point attempt didn't fall and Harrison came down with the board for the Mountaineers. She was sent to the line and made both once again to seal the 80-74 victory for the Mount.
The Mountaineers were the only lower seed to win in the Quarterfinal round on Monday night, as they're set to head to the Semifinals for the first time since 2014. Mount St. Mary's will match up with top-seeded Robert Morris on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. The winner will advance to the NEC Championship game on Sunday, March 17.