Mount St. Mary's season ends with 1st-round tournament loss

March 04, 1992|By Special to The Sun

LORETTO, Pa. -- St. Francis, Pa., led by as many as 22 points and then hung on in the final minutes to beat Mount St. Mary's, 85-79, in the opening round of the Northeast Conference tournament last night.

Without Kevin Booth, the team's top scorer who was sidelined with a rib injury, Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan started all four seniors and sophomore Phil Galvin.

The new lineup paid dividends early. Bobby Hill scored the Mount's first eight points, and Chris Cavanagh contributed six in the first 10 minutes as the Mountaineers led, 22-21, with 7:18 remaining in the first half.

When Mount center Cavanagh picked up his second foul and went to the sidelines, St. Francis went on an 18-5 surge and opened a 42-27 margin with 2:30 left in the half.

The Mountaineers had 16 turnovers in the first half and trailed 50-33 at halftime.

The Mountaineers found their three-point range in the second half and began to cut the margin. Jeff Hall had four three-pointers, three in an eight-minute span, as Mount St. Mary's narrowed the score to 70-63 with 7:17 remaining.

With St. Francis ahead, 80-68, with 4:29 left, the Mount ran off nine straight points and, when Hall hit a two foul shots, narrowed the score to 80-77 with 1:45 remaining.

Mount St. Mary's had a chance to tie with a three-point shot on its next possession, but Chad Stull forced a shot from the top of the key, and St. Francis held off the rally.

"I was very happy to see the players fight back in the second half," Phelan said. "They didn't give up, and you had to be proud of the effort, but we just dug ourselves a hole too big to climb out of."

Hall led all scorers with 22 points, Hill had 14 points and Cavanagh 13 points and seven rebounds. The Mountaineers hit only five of 12 free-throw attempts.

For St. Francis, which travels to Coraopolis, Pa., to play top-seeded Robert Morris tomorrow, Harkeem Dixon had 18 points, all in the first half, and Antoine Patterson had 17.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S -- Hall 7-14 3-6 22, Kalinowski 0-2 0-0 0, Cavanagh 6-9 1-2 13, Galvin 5-15 0-0 11, Hill 7-14, 0-0 14, Watson 4-5 0-3 8, Stull 3-6 0-0 8, Carr 1-1 1-1 3, John 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 33-68 5-12 79.

ST. FRANCIS, PA. -- George 2-6 5-6 9, Patterson 5-11 6-6 17, Temming 4-11 6-6 14, Cloran 2-6 1-4 6, Strachan 3-8 4-4 11, Dixon 5-6 5-6 18, Fink 3-6 0-2 6, Nadal 1-1 0-0 2, Smith 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 25-55 29-36 85.

Halftime--SF 50-33. 3-point goals--MSM 8-17 (Hall 5-8, Galvin 1-6, Stull 2-3); SF 6-13 (Dixon 3-4, Strachan 1-5, Cloran 1-2, Patterson 1-2). Rebounds--MSM 35 (Cavanagh 7); SF 31 (George 8). Fouls--MSM 26; SF 14. Fouled out--none. Assists--MSM 18 (Hill 3); SF 14 (Cloran 6). A--1,213.

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