Tip-in with :02 left lifts Morris over Mount, 85-84

January 09, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG -- All Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan could do was shake his head and wonder aloud how the Mountaineers tTC could leave the backboards so unprotected and let victory slip away the way they did.

"Our defensive rebounding is killing us, absolutely killing us," Phelan said after Shelton Carney tipped in a shot with two seconds left, as Robert Morris erased a three-point deficit with 25 seconds left to take an 85-84 victory before 2,250 last night at Knott Arena. "They [Robert Morris] got so many second shots. We couldn't keep them off the boards. They just scored at will."

Mount St. Mary's withstood a withering shooting display by Robert Morris in the first half, and after 30 minutes, the Mountaineers finally caught the Colonials.

But, after they had taken a 68-62 lead with 8:21 left in the contest, the Mountaineers' inability to stop Robert Morris on the boards finally caught up with them.

The Mountaineers (3-7, 0-3), who lost their sixth straight and are still searching for their first Northeast Conference victory, did everything but rebound when it counted.

They shot 51.4 percent from the field, hit nine of 20 three-point shots, and saw Chris McGuthrie (26 points) and Michael Watson (22 points) enjoy superb performances.

They benefited from a school-record 15 assists by point guard Riley Inge. And they overcame a torrid first half by Robert Morris, which made 18 of its first 27 shots (66.7 percent) to take a 44-41 halftime lead.

In the end, though, the Mountaineers could not stop the more athletic Colonials (4-7, 2-1) on the boards. The Colonials out-rebounded Mount St. Mary's, 41-30, and they won the critical battle at the offensive end, 16-9.

Fittingly, the final two Robert Morris baskets came on follow-up shots.

"Right now, we just don't have the people to do it on the boards," Phelan said. "We've got to get more rebounds out of our forwards. To have the lead with 10 seconds left and to lose the way we did, this really hurts."

The Mountaineers wasted a gutty comeback effort. After spending nearly 30 minutes catching Robert Morris, the lead changed hands seven times. Watson's three-point play gave Mount St. Mary's an 80-79 lead with 1:53 remaining.

With 1:07 left, Robert Morris center Alex Mayse (11 points, seven rebounds) grabbed an offensive rebound and banked in a short, fadeaway jumper to give the Colonials an 81-80 lead. Carney's two free throws made it 83-80 with 25 seconds left.

Then, the Mountaineers nearly pulled off the victory. Forward Larry Townes followed up McGuthrie's three-point miss with a layup to cut the lead to 83-82 with 17 seconds remaining.

After a Mount St. Mary's timeout, Sefton Robinson then stole the inbounds pass and fed McGuthrie for a layup that gave the Mountaineers an 84-83 lead with 10 seconds to go.

The Colonials then rushed up court, where Myron Walker launched an errant shot from 15 feet. However, Carney (15 points, seven rebounds) knifed in for the tip.

The athleticism of Robert Morris hurt the Mountaineers in other ,, important areas as well. The Colonials converted 18 of 23 free throws; Mount St. Mary's was only able to get the foul line six times all night.

"It's going to be hard to get them up again after this," Phelan said. "It's going to be a real challenge."

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