Last-second shot gives Mount win over St. Francis

January 22, 1992|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Correspondent

EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's was due to catch a break in a season dotted with misfortune, and last night it finally came.

The Mountaineers, who had squandered second-half leads four games in a row, did it again, but this time they charged from behind themselves and nudged St. Francis (Pa.), 87-84, on Phil Galvin's buzzer-beating three-pointer for their first Northeast Conference victory of the season.

It was the proper climax for a game dominated by long-range shooting, particularly by the Red Flash's Harkeem Dixon, who was virtually unstoppable in the first half (six of seven from three-point range) and finished with a game-high 29 points.

But Dixon missed a 23-foot attempt with the score tied at 84 and the Mount's improving freshman Michael Watson rebounded and flipped the ball to Jeff Hall, who called a timeout with six seconds left.

On the ensuing inbounds play, the ball went to Watson, who shrugged off a double team in the center of the court and got the ball up the side to Galvin, who was being tracked by Jim Horn, a defensive replacement for that play.

Horn went for the steal, but Galvin came up with the ball, turned and made the game-winner to end a seven-game losing streak for coach Jim Phelan's team.

"I knew I had to come to the ball," said Galvin, who had problems both offensively and defensively early in the game. "I didn't know how much time was left, but I knew I had to get something off. It was all feel."

Phelan said the play went as designed, with Watson having the (( option of going to Galvin or fellow guard Kevin Booth, who was streaking up the other side.

"I guess he went to the right guy," the coach said. "We needed that badly. Maybe we're already beyond the point of satisfying wins. We just need wins."

Watson, averaging 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in NEC play, also grabbed the key rebound when Hall tossed up an air ball from beyond the line with the Mountaineers behind, 84-82. Watson converted to tie the game.

Mount had not won since Dec. 28, when it upset Georgia State to capture its own holiday tournament.

"This we really had to have to boost our confidence," said Galvin, who packed 11 of his 16 points into the final 6:21.

Mount St. Mary's had a 60-52 lead six minutes into the second half as Watson cooled off Dixon and Hall and Booth made three three-pointers between them.

"Watson plays pretty hard, so we tried to get on him [Dixon] a little better," said Phelan.

ST. FRANCIS (7-8, 1-5) -- Dixon 10-16 8-12 29, Patterson 4-10 1-3 9, Fink 1-3 3- 5 5, Strachan 5-7 0-0 13, Holliman 2-5 0-0 5, Smith 0-0 1-2 1, Temming 0-0 0-0 0, George 3-6 2-4 8, Nadal 0-0 0-0 0, Cloran 5-5 1-2 14, Horn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-52 9-16 84.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S (4-13, 1-6) -- Stull 3-7 0-0 6, Hall 5-10, 0-0 14, Carr 4-6 1-2 9, Booth 7-11 6-9 23, Galvin 4-8 4-5 16, Nanni 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 4-7 7-7 15, John 2-3 0-1 4. Totals: 29-52 18-24 87.

Halftime--St. Francis 49-47. 3-point goals--SF 15-21 (Dixon 8-12, Strachan 3-4, Cloran 3-3, Hilliman 1-2); MSM 11-24 (Hall 4-8, Galvin 4-8, Booth 3-7, Carr 0-1). Rebounds--SF 25 (Patterson 8); MSM 29 (Carr 14). Assists--SF 14 (Holliman 5); MSM 16 (Booth 10). Total fouls--SF 21; MSM 16. Fouled out--Strachan, Holliman. A--1,535.

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