Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (Courtresy logo)

Vado Morse and Jalen Gibbs combined for 44 points as Mount St. Mary's held off Sacred Heart 76-73 on Saturday afternoon at the William H. Pitt Center.

Morse led the Mount with 23 points while Gibbs added 21.


The Mount (6-19, 3-9 Northeast Conference) held off a furious Sacred Heart rally to earn the win. Leading by 17 points in the second half, and by 15 with 7:50 remaining, the Mount saw Sacred Heart (11-14, 7-5) have a chance to tie the game at the end.

Mount St. Mary's led 67-52 after a pair of Morse free throws with 7:50 left in the second half, but a quick 6-0 run cut the Mount lead to single digits. A Koreem Ozier lay-up with 4:42 left made it a seven-point game, and Sean Hoehn then hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the deficit to 69-65 with 2:17 on the clock.

Hoehn hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 69-66 with 1:33 left, but Morse countered with a clutch jumper on the other end to stretch the lead back to five.

Damian Chong Qui sandwiched four free throws around a Kinnon LaRose three-pointer to put the Mount ahead 75-69.

Sacred Heart's E.J. Anosike scored in the paint, and after a Mount turnover, Hoehn converted a lay-up to make it 75-73 with 15 seconds left.

Morse was fouled after the inbounds pass, and he hit 1-of-2 at the line to give the Mount a three-point lead. Sacred Heart was able to get the ball to LaRose open at the top of the key for a potential game-tying three-pointer, but his shot was off the mark, and the Mount held on for the win.

Morse totaled seven rebounds and five assists. The four-time NEC Rookie of the Week was 9-for-16 from the field.

Gibbs added six rebounds and went 4-for-7 from 3-point range for his fifth 20-point game of the year.

Malik Jefferson added 13 points and five rebounds while hitting all six of his field goal attempts for the Mountaineers, while Chong Qui had seven points, five assists and four rebounds.

The Mount is now 28-11 all-time against Sacred Heart, including wins in 17 of the past 21 matchups. The Mount is back in action Feb. 14, with a 7 p.m. home game against rival Robert Morris.