Mt. St. Mary's downed Sacred Heart 78-67 at Knott Arena yesterday behind the exceptional guard play of Jeremy Goode and Jean Cajou. The starting backcourt tandem combined to score 47 points, 24 for Goode and 23 for Cajou to lead the Mount to a good NEC victory.
The Mount trailed by as many as seven in the first half as the Pioneers shot the ball exceptionally well early on. But the Mounties rallied near the end of the first half to knot the score at 33, and then did away with SHU early in the second half. The Atumpem brothers were also in double digits as the Mount once again got some balance in the offensive attack. Kelly Beidler also had a very good game, despite scoring only 3 points. The junior had a handful of key rebounds and 7 assists in the victory.
The Mount offense was once again efficient and Goode is playing much better right now than he was during the tough stretch in December. He was exceptional yesterday, made the right decisions, and has found the long range stroke once again. He buried back-to-back treys in the second half that essentially sealed the Pioneers fate.
The Mount has won 6-of-7 and appears to be playing more at the level that we saw at the end of last year and the start of this year, than we had seen during most of the month of December. After three conference losses to start the season, they have crept back up in the conference standings with the four straight wins. Based on the way the rest of the conference is performaning and the recent efforts of the Mount, you might have to think they would be favored in every game the rest of the way. I know kenpom.com thought that before yesterday. Obviously the regular season finale at Robert Morris might be the lone exception, and Pomeroy now has RMU as the favorite. And I'm not in anyway predicting the Mount will win the rest of its games, but a 13-5 league record seems accomplishable. That should give them one of the top 3 seeds in the league playoffs.
But let's not get the cart too far in front of the horse. The key for this team is to continue to be effective offensively and that occurs best when the pace is quicker. And to play that tough defense. But things are shaping up as a very exciting finish to the season.