Stull helps hustle Mount to win

January 21, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG -- Chad Stull is not the most talented of Mount St. Mary's players, but none of his teammates exceeds his enthusiasm and hustle. So, Stull was the perfect entry into the game last night when coach Jim Phelan decided to apply all-out defensive pressure against Monmouth.

With the 6-foot-5 senior functioning as the big man in a lineup that also included a small forward and three guards, the Mountaineers forced Monmouth into turnover after turnover in the second half and rolled to an 81-65 Northeast Conference victory at Knott Arena.

It was a game Mount St. Mary's (7-8, 4-4) had to have to retain any chance of taking the league's regular-season title after losing twice to NEC teams at home.

"This was very important," said Stull, whose 80 minutes of playing time were the second fewest on the roster entering the night. "We should have beaten Wagner [a 73-72 loss here Tuesday]. This is our house. When people come in here, they should leave unhappy."

Stull did his part to spread some inhospitality, grabbing a game-high nine rebounds in 16 minutes and hitting a clutch three-pointer after Monmouth (8-7, 5-2) began rallying midway in the second half.

"It's kind of scary thinking where we could be if we kept up the defensive intensity like we did tonight," Phelan said. "Chad gave us a big lift. His way of playing puts even more pressure on the other team and he has a habit of playing well against Monmouth."

Mount St. Mary's took command by scoring the first 11 points of the second half to soar in front, 50-41.

That lead grew to 11 before the Hawks rallied to within 55-49 on a free throw by John Giraldo (16 points). But Stull followed with his trey, then stepped aside for the Michael Watson show.

Watson was eager to prove he has withstood a challenge from Monmouth's Jack Gordon as the league's best sixth man.

The duel was no contest as Watson scored 11 of the Mount's final 15 points, six via dunks and two more on an impossible fallaway from the corner as the shot clock expired.

When Watson left the court, he flashed six fingers to indicate he had retained his title by a knockout.

"We took Gordon [five points] away from his three-point shots," said Phelan. "We have people quick enough to do it."

Meanwhile, Watson led Mount St. Mary's with 21 points and added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

Although guards Chris McGuthrie and Riley Inge shot a combined 11-for-35, they scored 17 and 14 points.

Accuracy wasn't that important in a game in which the Mount lofted 30 more shots than Monmouth, victim of 29 turnovers. It was the second straight NEC road loss for the Hawks, 2-6 away from home. They average 96.4 points on their court; 66.0 on enemy floors.

The Mountaineers thus posted their fourth straight win over Monmouth in their eighth game in 16 days. They did it with desire.

"Hustle is contagious," said Stull. "You start and all the other players get into it. Then you're making a run and the fans start yelling to make it go longer."

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