Men's Basketball: Mount St. Mary's falls to Central Connecticut

Mount St. Mary's fell at home to Central Connecticut 77-68 on Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena.

Omar Habwe paced the Mount with 17 points while Jalen Gibbs chipped in 14 points.


The Mount (3-14, 0-4 Northeast Conference) came out firing on all cylinders, grabbing a 27-11 lead just past the midway point of the first half. Mount St. Mary's opened the game with a 9-2 run on the strength of 3-pointers from Gibbs, Vado Morse, and Habwe.

After Central Connecticut evened the score at 9-9, the Mount rattled off an 18-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 27-11, with 9:04 left in the first half.

Gibbs kick-started the run with consecutive 3-pointers ahead of a Nana Opoku bucket and a pair of Dee Barnes free throws. After a Central basket, the Mount scored eight more points in a row for the 16-point advantage. Barnes and Damian Chong Qui each hit 3-pointers while Morse closed the spurt with a jumper.

Another Morse jumper gave the Mount a 32-17 lead with 5:19 remaining in the opening half, but Central Connecticut was able to close the half on a 9-0 run to make it 32-26 at the break. Deion Bute scored six points while Tyler Kohl chipped in a 3-pointer in the scoring spurt.

Central Connecticut cut the Mount's lead to 36-32 early in the second half, but the Mountaineers answered with a 12-4 run to take a 48-36 lead with 13:49 remaining.

The Mount held a 59-51 advantage with just under nine minutes left after a Collin Nnamane three-point play, but Central Connecticut went on a 14-1 run to grab control of the game.

Ian Krishan keyed the run, hitting a 3-pointer to tie the score at 60-60, adding two free throws to give CCSU the lead, and then a 3 to stretch the lead to 65-60 with 5:37 remaining.

The Mount continued to battle, cutting the deficit to 71-68 on a Gibbs 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:41 remaining, but that was as close as the Mount was able to get.

Chong Qui had another strong outing with 11 points and seven assists. Chong Qui has scored in double figures in each of the past four games for the Mountaineers.

Morse stretched his streak of double-figure scoring games to six with 10 points while adding four assists for the Mount. Bute led CCSU (8-9, 2-2) with 17 points and 11 rebounds while Tyler Kohl added 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Mount St. Mary's begins a two-game road trip at Wagner on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m.