Indeed it was. Showing an offensive efficency that has been absent most of the season and a trademark defense, Mt. St. Mary's destroyed Long Island 86-67 at Knott Arena on Saturday afternoon. The loss is the first NEC defeat for the Blackbirds.
Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler each recorded double doubles to lead the Mount. Goode had 17 points and 10 assists, while Beidler had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Jean Cajou broke out of a shooting funk knocking down four three-pointers and finishing with 16 points in a balanced Mount attack.
Some more thoughts and observations from my seat....
- I noticed that the Mount was without its warmups at the start of the game. Afterwards, I was told that the team has been without all the extras that come with being a scholarship athlete the last few days. Apparently the message was intended to be if they weren't going to play Mount basketball, they weren't going to get all the benefits that came with it.
- Former Mountaineer Gregory Harris was on hand. Of course, Harris' all-time assist record was passed on Thursday night by Jeremy Goode. Harris still looks like he could take just about anyone off the dribble.
- Goode was sensational. He had seven assists midway through the first half, and he made six of eight shots from the field. Playing against one of the other top-notch point guards in the league, Goode dominated Jaytornah Wisseh.
- Equally impressive was Kelly Beidler. I've always been a Kelly Beidler fan, but the one area that I always thought he could and should be better at was finishing around the basket. #4 was extremely strong around the hoop and scored a few buckets in traffic. He also continued to show a soft touch from the outside knocking down a pair of three-pointers.
- Danny Thompson and Tayvon Jackson played well off the bench for the Mounties. In forty combined minutes, the duo scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked 3 shots and handed out three assists. When the Mount plays well these guys seem to excel.
- It was easily the most complete effort of the season for the Mount. It started with six quick points and the Mount extended the lead to 20-9 early. They never took their foot off the accelerator. When LIU tried to rally in the second, Cajou and Goode hit big three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to erase any thoughts of a comeback.
- There is still hope for this team. They showed today that they have another level. But efforts and performances like today have to be the norm and not the exception. This is an experienced bunch, maybe Thursday night truly served as a wakeup call. They have the ability to win the rest of their games.
- They play these same two teams next weekend in New York. Getting a sweep is a necessity. And you can bet that LIU will be ready. You may remember that the Mount blitzed the Blackbirds here in Emmitsburg last year as well, but lost the return trip. They must get two wins next weekend if they wish to have any thoughts of a regular season league championship.