LIU stuns Mount St. Mary's, 91-90

February 04, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's had its sights set on a six-game winning streak last night, and the Mountaineers appeared to have drawn the ideal opponent in Long Island, which dragged an 18-game losing streak into Knott Arena.

But the Blackbirds played nothing like the Northeast Conference's last-place team. They erased a nine-point deficit early in the second half with a 17-3 run, then won a thriller that came down to the last shot.

Long Island guard Jason Feeley hit a 12-foot jump shot in the lane with 15 seconds left, and Mount St. Mary's guard Chris McGuthrie's 10-foot bank shot with two seconds left would not fall, as Long Island (2-18, 1-11) held on to win its first league game, 91-90, before 1,822.

Feeley's shot capped a wild second half, in which the lead changed hands eight times in the final eight minutes. Feeley also ended the Mountaineers' hopes for their first six-game winning streak since moving to Division I six years ago.

"This is the third one-point loss for us at home, and we had a chanceto win it. It's driving me crazy," said Jim Phelan, coach of Mount St. Mary's (11-9, 7-5). "It's almost poetic justice that McGuthrie missed the last shot, because he isn't making any lately."

McGuthrie, the Mountaineers' leading scorer, came into the game in a shooting slump, having made only 12 of his past 48. Last night, after an encouraging first half, he went 0-for-7 from the field to finish with 15 points. He converted only four of 17 shots.

McGuthrie certainly wasn't the only guilty party. Mount St. Mary's committed 18 turnovers, including six by point guard Riley Inge. The Mountaineers also made only 12 of 32 shots in the second half.

The Mountaineers, who were missing center Randy Edney (knee injury) and guard Jeff Ballistrere (calf), sorely could have used them on defense. Long Island, which forced the tempo all night, repeatedly beat Mount St. Mary's down low, and shot an impressive 53.2 percent.

Long Island guard David Adebanjo, back from a serious knee injury, hit four three-pointers and scored 19 points, one of five Blackbirds in double figures.

Guard David Masciale scored 19 points, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and added seven assists. Forward Andre Cradle had 12 points and eight assists.

Mount St. Mary's wasted a 20-point, 13-rebound performance by Michael Watson, who gave the Mountaineers an 88-85 lead with 1:53 left, then put them back ahead 90-89 on a layup with 35 seconds left.

The Mountaineers, after struggling to take a 52-50 halftime lead, appeared to gain control when they increased their advantage to 70-61 with 15:49 left in the game. But, after Long Island coach Paul Lizzo called a timeout, the Blackbirds staged a 17-3 run -- which featured two three-pointers by Adebanjo -- to take a 78-73 lead with 9:57 to go.

Mount St. Mary's battled back, scoring six unanswered points to take a 79-78 lead.

"The way our season has gone, I thought that last shot was going in," Lizzo said. "It's easy to quit when you've lost 18 in a row, but these kids never stop playing hard. If you fall asleep on LIU, look out."

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