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Mount blows 9-point lead and falls to LIU, 93-91


BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Sophomore Andre Cradle hit an 18-foot jump shot with two seconds remaining to give Long Island University a 93-91 comeback victory over a stunned Mount St. Mary's yesterday afternoon. The loss kept the Mount winless in 12 road games this season, and the team has dropped 16 consecutive road games dating to last Feb. 7.

Long Island trailed, 90-81, with 4 minutes, 59 seconds left, but Timothy Pounds led the Blackbirds back with five unanswered points leading up to Cradle's game-winner in the Northeast Conference contest.

Dave Nanni scored on a putback to give the Mountaineers that nine-point lead. But it would be their last field goal of the game.

Cradle, who finished with 14 points, cut the gap to six with his fourth three-point basket of the game 14 seconds later. After the Mount's Chad Stull was called for a charge and then missed a pair of free throws in successive trips down the floor, Fabian Jack made it 90-86 with 4:16 left on a driving layup.

Pounds and the Mount's Phil Galvin each made one of two from the line and the Mountaineers led, 91-87, with 2:43 to play. On the next two possessions for Mount St. Mary's, guard Kevin Booth was called for offensive fouls out front. The calls, made by the same official, caused the Mount bench to erupt, and the team never recovered.

Pounds, who finished with a team-high 17, scored in the lane with 1:24 left to narrow the deficit to 91-89. Booth then tried to hit Bobby Hill with a pass, but threw the ball out of bounds at midcourt with 1:02 remaining.

Jack then threw up a desperation shot as the shot clock was about to expire, but the rebound went out of bounds to the Blackbirds. On the inbounds play, Pounds broke open underneath, forcing Hill to foul him from behind. The 6-foot-4 senior hit both free throws to tie the score with 26 seconds left.

On the Mount's last possession, Hill broke free on the baseline but missed a layup with 12 seconds to go, and, with the LIU bench trying to get a timeout called, the Blackbirds' Ram Fishbourne pushed the ball up the court and found Cradle, who sidestepped Booth and hit the game-winner.

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