Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
I think that is the team we were expecting to see this season.
Mt. St. Mary's cruised to a 69-44 win at Knott Arena on Thursday Night, moving into three-way tie for seventh place and the all important eighth place spot and the final playoff berth with St. Francis PA and Sacred Heart. (Without checking the tiebreakers - I'm pretty sure the Red Flash would be seventh and the Mount 8th - based on records against the teams in the tie).
The Mount jumped to an early 6-0 lead and never really looked back. They fought off a little hiccup at the start of the second half, when Wagner which trailed 35-19 at the break was able to close within single digits. But the Mount regained its composure and Will Holland hit a key three-pointer right around the 11-minute mark which seemingly put the Mount back in control.
The Mount made 12 (of 23) three-pointers on the night as both Holland and Jean Cajou shot the ball well from distance. Cajou seems to have his feet underneath his jumper and that high-arching shot looks good leaving his hands. He was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Granted Wagner - which lost for the 20th time - is not a very good basketball team. In fact, TJ Czeski might very well be the worst point guard to ever play at the Division I level. I can't think of anyone as bad. The Mount abused him with pressure all night, just as it did last year in both of the Seahawks trips to the ARCC. He is bad.
Michael Orock can be a force inside but was saddled with some early foul trouble - and Doug Elwell can shoot it a little bit, but this is not a good team. The Mount makes the return trip to Staten Island for a game over the weekend. So it was good that they didn't give Wagner any hope heading into that game. All the efforts are important in this conference battle down the stretch as the teams Race To Dayton.
The Mount also got some solid interior play from Shawn Atupem, Raven Barber and Tayvon Jackson off the bench. Jeremy Goode stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and a couple of rebounds. Kelly Beidler struggled at the offensive end, but played hard, and his going to the floor near the end of the first half kept a loose ball alive and led to an eventual Cajou trifecta at the other end. Beidler seemed to get every rebound early and I thought he was going to end up with a Rodman-like line of 1 point - double digit rebounds - 3 steals and a pair of blocks, and two cheerleaders run over. But the boxscore I saw afterwards only had him with 8 boards.
This team has life down the stretch - and even though it has frustrated us for two and a half months - a wise man - or maybe it was I - once said - Tis better to be hot in February than December.