Men's Basketball: Mount St. Mary's drops Northeast Conference opener at Saint Francis
By Staff Report
Jan 03, 2019 | 3:25 PM
Mount St. Mary's opened Northeast Conference play with an 80-69 loss at preseason favorite Saint Francis U on Thursday in Loretto, Pa.
Omar Habwe paced the Mountaineers with 21 points in the game.
The Mount (3-11, 0-1 NEC) rallied from a 15-point first half deficit to grab a 41-40 lead early in the second half. The Red Flash responded to take a 55-49 lead, but a Malik Jefferson bucket and a 3-pointer by Damian Chong Qui cut the deficit to 55-54.
Saint Francis countered with a 10-2 run to push the lead to nine, but the Mount made it a five-point game, 65-60, with just under seven minutes left.
Saint Francis senior Jamal King then drained a long 3-pointer and added a bucket in the paint to put his team up by 10, and the Red Flash (5-7, 1-0) held on.
Habwe hit 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3-point range for his team-high 21 points. Vado Morse scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half, while Chong Qui tallied all 13 of his points in the second stanza for the Mountaineers.
Jalen Gibbs added 11 points while Collin Nnamane and Jefferson each pulled down eight rebounds.
King led the Red Flash with a game-high 25 points while Keith Braxton recorded 17 points and 17 rebounds. The Red Flash shot 52.5 percent from the field in the game, and were 11-of-22 (.500) from three-point range.
Saint Francis snapped the Mount's seven-game win streak in the all-time series. It is just the fourth win by the Red Flash in the past 28 meetings between the two teams.
The Mount is back in action Jan. 5 at Robert Morris. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.
NOTE: On Monday, Morse earned Northeast Conference Co-Rookie of the Week honors. Morse matched a career-high with 18 points in the Mount's 71-53 loss at Minnesota last Sunday. He is the fourth Mountaineer to win NEC Rookie of the Week honors this season, joining teammates Dee Barnes, Malik Jefferson, and Nana Opoku.