EMMITSBURG -- This game may be remembered as the one that lifted Mount St. Mary's over the hump.
Considered a dark-horse candidate for the Northeast Conference title when the season began, the Mountaineers had fumbled, stumbled and bumbled since winning their holiday tournament Dec. 28.
But last night, they proved they can stay with the conference's best, knocking Robert Morris out of first place in the NEC with a 72-63 victory at Knott Arena.
"I like to think this is the game that will make us realize we can play with the best teams in this league," said Mount coach Jim Phelan, eight wins short of 700 in his career.
The Mount never trailed in the second half and attained its biggest lead when freshman Michael Watson executed a reverse dunk on a breakaway to make it 71-57 inside the final minute.
The Mountaineers (5-13, 2-6) set the tone early when Phil Galvin, hero of Tuesday's victory over St. Francis (Pa.), made his first three three-point tries, and Jeff Hall followed with one from 22 feet for a 15-9 Mount lead.
"Galvin got them off in both halves," said Robert Morris coach Jarrett Durham. "I thought the Mount played a great game. We didn't play that badly. They just beat us."
The Colonials recovered to take a one-point halftime lead, but Galvin hit a jumper and a three-pointer in the first minute of the second half to regain the lead for the Mount, 34-30. He finished with 24 points, one short of his career-high.