St. Francis, N.Y., does honors at Mount Phelan feted, then loses, 76-72

February 05, 1993|By Bill Tanton | Bill Tanton,Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG BTC — EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's Jim Phelan was honored last night before his team's game with St. Francis, N.Y., for becoming the eighth coach in college basketball history to win 700 games.

Phelan, in his 39th year at the Mount, received citations from the student body, the faculty and from the athletic director, Tom Balistrere.

That was the fun part of the evening.

St. Francis (5-13, 4-6) ruined the rest of it by defeating the Mount, 76-72, ending a three-game winning streak for Phelan's team.

A month ago, Mount St. Mary's (8-9, 7-3) went to Brooklyn and beat this same St. Francis team, 83-71. Last night's loss knocked the Mount out of a first-place tie with Rider in the Northeast Conference.

"You work so hard to win those games on the road," said Phelan, "and then we come home and don't play well and lose.

"St. Francis is a better team now than when we played them a month ago. Their players know their roles. Earlier, they didn't."

Charles Hatcher and Jeff Myers each had 17 points for St. Francis, but the leading scorer in the game was 5-foot-8 Mount freshman Chris McGuthrie with 24 points.

Mount St. Mary's trailed by nine with less than four minutes to play, and the Knott Arena crowd of 2,299 began to depart.

But McGuthrie and fifth-year guard Kevin Booth began hitting three-pointers and brought the Mount to 72-69 and 75-72. That also brought the crowd back into the arena.

Mount St. Mary's made 14 turnovers in the first half, yet trailed only 34-33 at that point.

In the second half, St. Francis' superior quickness made the difference.

St. Francis coach Ron Ganulin said: "We've won four in a row now, and our kids have a lot more confidence. I don't think Mount St. Mary's looked any different from a month ago. I just think we played a lot better. Jeff Myers is settling in as our point guard."

Ganulin said that he studied films of the loss to the Mount and made some adjustments in his press, which helped cause 25 turnovers by Mount St. Mary's.

"I'm not going to tell you what changes we made," Ganulin said, "because we might have to play Mount St. Mary's in the playoffs."

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