The Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 4-9 record, which was buoyed only slightly by Friday night’s 104-84 victory at Norfolk State.
Jamion Christian is hardly the first coach to say that he’s not concerned about his team’s win-loss mark, but Christian did point out that a 2-4 record in the last six games might have looked better if the Mountaineers had been able to preserve a nine-point halftime lead that evaporated in an eventual 92-82 loss to Penn State on Dec. 22.
“I don’t really get too high or low with wins or losses,” he said Monday. “I just try to make sure that our team is playing its very best. I thought they played well against Penn State. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but I know that it put our guys in the right mindest of playing consistent basketball. I think we’re going to win more games than we lose, and that’s really our focus. I hadn’t really realized that we had only won one of our last five [before the rout of Norfolk State]. Again, I’m just really focused on how well we play, and I felt like going into that game, we had a good week of practice.”
Mount St. Mary’s will open Northeast Conference play with a visit to Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Knights are just 4-10 thus far, but they are 2-1 at home, while the Mountaineers are 1-8 on the road.
The importance of starting conference play with a positive showing was not lost on Christian.
“We’re fired up about it,” he said. “For teams that are in one big league as we are in the NEC, conference play is what you really live for. It gives you an opportunity to test yourself against teams that are similar to your demographic, similar to your makeup. And you’re playing for an opportunity to be in the NCAA tournament. So every game in conference play really matters, especially when you’re at the level we are because the top four teams get a home game [in the conference tournament]. So it makes it really important to play every game because that home game in our league [tournament] is extremely important.”