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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mount earns split on the road

The Mount got a split in Western Pennsylvania. No regrets from me. The loss came Thursday night to the league's best team Robert Morris 69-66. The win came earlier tonight, as the Mount rolled past St. Francis PA 72-61.



Like I said no excuses at RMU. The Colonials are just a little better. The Mount keeps getting better, but they are not to that level yet. So a good win for RMU (who went on to defeat Wagner for sole possession of first place on Saturday). The Mount struggled from the free throw line in defeat. MSM trailed by as many as 10 in the second half but rallied with a 10-0 run to knot the game with about six minutes left. However, the Colonials got some big shots from some unlikely sources down the stretch and held on for the win. Chris Vann's three at the buzzer couldn't find the mark and the Mount's mini win streak was over.

The Mounties sizzled in the first half at St. Francis of PA. The Mount shot 69.2 percent from the field in the first half as it buit a 14 point halftime advantage. The lead ballooned to 22 with just under ten minutes left and then the Mount held on for a 72-61 win.

Jean Cajou and Jeremy Goode again led the Mount in scoring. Both had 18 points, a career high for the freshman, as they combined to make 14-of-17 shots, including 6-of-8 three pointers. The play of Cajou, and in particular the shooting of Cajou recently, has been phenomenal. Cajou, who started the season 1-for 13 or 14 from behind the arc, is now 14-of-32 on the season, including 13-of-23 in conference games.

The Mount remains 1/2 game behind Quinnipiac for the fourth and final home playoff game slot. Central Connecticut is 1/2 game behind the Mount. Quinnipiac nearly lost twice this week, needing a three-pointer at the buzzer to upend Monmouth on Thursday night. The Bobcats play at Central Connecticut and Wagner this week.

If Central wins the Thursday night game with Quinnipiac, the three teams will enter Saturday's final day of play in a three-way tie for the final home game in the first round of the playoffs. The Mount hosts Monmouth, Central plays at Sacred Heart, while QU travels to Wagner.

In the event of a three-way tie, I believe the Mount will win the highest seed and get the home playoff game.

The Mount will win the tie with Central Connecticut if those two teams end up in a tie.

However, the tiebreaker with Quinnipiac is dependent upon the Bobcats final two games. In order for there to be a tie with the Mount and only the Mount, the Bobcats must win one of its two games, and Central must lose one of its final two - and the Mount must beat Monmouth.

If you are a Mountaineer fan and want to see Chris Vann and Jason Loughry play at least one more time other than Saturday, I think you need to root for this.

The Mount beats Monmouth. If Quinnipiac loses twice the Mount gets the #4 seed regardless of what Central does Saturday.

On Thursday if Central beats Quinnipiac. If Quinnipiac beats Wagner on Saturday, Central must beat Sacred Heart for the Mount to earn the #4 seed.

On Thursday if Quinnipiac beats Central, the Bobcats must then lose to Wagner and the Mount must beat Monmouth for the Mounties to earn the #4 seed.

If the Mount loses to Monmouth, it can still earn the #4 seed with a Quinnipiac loss to Central and Central loss to Sacred Heart, and a Quinnipiac loss to Wagner.

You got all that. Me neither. But I think I'm pretty close. Either way, there are a lot of ways the Mount can earn that final home game. But the best way is to take care of business Saturday night and hope for the best. I'll try to update things after the key Quinnipiac/Central Connecticut game on Thursday night.

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