A pivotal stretch in Monday night’s basketball showdown between Mount Saint Joseph and undefeated Mount Carmel came midway through the third quarter when the host Cougars quickly took away a good chunk of the Gaels’ double-digit advantage.
The lead dwindled to three points but, as he’s done for most of the abbreviated season, Mount Saint Joseph senior guard D’Angelo Stines confidently stepped up.
Stines hit back-to-back 3 pointers and turned a turnover into a driving layup. In less than a minute, he scored nine of his game-high 33 points to restore order and lead the Gaels to a 78-67 win.
Mount Saint Joseph, which also got 17 points from Stines’ backcourt mate Ausar Crawley and 16 from freshman Bryson Tucker, improved to 7-1 on the season. Mount Carmel, which got 29 points from junior guard Dean Perry, fell to 9-1.
Gaels coach Pat Clatchey called Stines’ third-quarter stretch “crucial.”
“That’s what big time players do,” he said. “He was feeling it. He hit the one 3 and then he shot the one in transition and started getting to the cup.”
With Stines, Crawley and forward Sean Carr, who finished with six points and played a strong defensive game inside, the Gaels are a talented young bunch. Stines and Crawley have enjoyed the responsibility of taking on the lead role. The third quarter from Stines provided proof.
“They started to pull back, like within five I believe, and I just wanted to make sure it didn’t get too close,” Stines said. “We wanted to keep a comfortable lead going into the fourth. I was hitting [shots], so just kept going to it.”
In the first half, Perry was mostly unstoppable in keeping the Cougars close, hitting five 3-pointers — the last cutting the Gaels’ lead to 29-27 with 4:16 to play in the half. But Mount Saint Joseph responded with a 12-4 run, with Julien Moutome and Stines both hitting 3-pointers during the stretch to take a 41-31 halftime lead.
After the Cougars scored the first seven points in the third quarter, Stines went to work. A three-point play from Crawley and a basket from Tucker gave the Gaels their biggest lead at 62-47 in the closing seconds of the third quarter and they were able to stay a safe distance the rest of the way.
“I just think that really stems from the guard play — Ausar and D’Angelo — they understand momentum swings and stuff like that,” Clatchey said. “We still do have some young guys out there, but I just think they are accustomed to winning and they know what it takes to win and the other guys need to follow their lead.”
Crawley said getting a quality test from a good team will help down the road.
“This year, we got a pretty young team besides me, D’Angelo and Sean. So us seniors, we have to take on the lead role and step up in the tough moments like today,” he said. “It was a tough game and it was good to get this experience for the young guys and our seniors had to step up today.”
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Mount Carmel coach Trevor Quinn said that while he saw some good moments and quality effort from his team, the game will provide valuable teaching moments.
“I think the biggest thing is we have to value every possession,” he said. “Going forward, we just have to learn from this game. The nature of the season is we have a game every other day, so you just have to move on, get ready for practice tomorrow and then get ready for our next game on Wednesday.”