Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
Thursday's 64-52 win over Sacred Heart seemed like it had every part of the Mt. St. Mary's season rolled into one forty-minute game. There were moments of excellence, periods of ugliness but an ending that brought you wanting to see what tomorrow will bring.
The Mount led by 17 in the first half, only to see that lead entirely disappear when the Mount went 10 minutes and 15 seconds - spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second with only four points. After that interval the Mount found itself trailing by three points, but a steal and a layin from Jean Cajou ignited a Mountaineer rally.
Down the stretch, the Mount does what it always seems to do against Sacred Heart. The sharpshooters for the Pioneers never seem to fire at their best with the Mount hounding them on the outside. The Pioneers shot 6-for-20 for the game and turned the ball over 22 times. Consequently, the Mount turned that three-point deficit into a 12-point win. A much needed at that - and maybe a possibility for the Mount to establish some momentum heading into Saturday's contest with frontrunning Quinnipiac. The Mount remains a game behind St. Francis PA for the final playoff slot in the NEC. The Red Flash downed St. Francis NY in Loretto on Thursday night.
Freshman post player Raven Barber had his best game as a Mountaineer tallying a career high 15 points while playing 21 minutes. He continues to play his way into shape and shows an ability to finish around the basket. He is both strong and athletic and has good size. If the Mount is to make a run down the stretch, it would appear he must be a key part of the push.
Jean Cajou made 6-of-9 shots from the floor and finished with 13 for a balanced attack. Kelly Beidler had 9, while Jeremy Goode and Shawn Atupem each had 8 in the victory.
If in fact this game was a microcosm of what this season is and will be, the most positive thing to take away from it was the Mount finished strong. Certainly, this team has the capabilities of finishing this season strongly. The schedule also works to the Mount's favor. However, they have played themselves into a situation where there is very little margin for error the rest of the way. Still Thursday was encouraging. Now there needs to be another consistent effort on Saturday to prove that there is real reason for optimism down the stretch.