Mount's 26-1 tear dazes St. Francis (N.Y.), 98-70

January 13, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's put together eight minutes worthy of placement in a time capsule last night at Knott Arena.

In the near-perfect stretch, the Mountaineers outscored St. Francis (N.Y.) 26-1 to turn a 10-point deficit into a 15-point lead. The Terriers never recovered and the Mount (6-7, 4-1) went on to a 98-70 victory in a Northeast Conference matchup.

Everybody got into the act for the Mount, which was rebounding from a frustrating 82-80 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) on Monday night, the only blemish on its conference record.

Sophomore guard Silas Cheung came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points, hitting seven of nine from the field and four of six from three-point range.

Chris McGuthrie (19 points), Riley Inge (12) and Sefton Robinson (11) also scored in double figures for the Mount, which shot 63 percent.

But it was a defensive surge led by Robinson that was responsible for the dramatic turnaround.

Employing a pressure defense and a fast-breaking tempo, St. Francis (3-6, 1-3) built its 35-25 lead with junior guard Robert Bailey, a transfer from Boston University, doing most of the damage with 10 points.

But with Robinson, an aggressive 200-pound senior, playing intense defense, Bailey had trouble getting off a shot, and the rest of the Mount players fed off Robinson's intensity.

"I take a lot of pride in my defense, especially shutting down the other team's top scorer," said Robinson. "First, I tried to keep Bailey from catching the ball. If he did, I got right in his face, forcing the issue."

Offensively, the Mount also found ways of solving St. Francis' full-court press and defensive traps to score easy baskets.

"Their coach [Ron Ganulin] had worked as an assistant at Nevada-Las Vegas and likes to play that pressure defense," said Mount coach Jim Phelan. "But once you start to beat it, that pressure begins to disappear, and then you don't notice it."

That's exactly what happened in the Mount's run as McGuthrie, Robinson and top reserve Michael Watson began beating the Terriers down the floor for layups and uncontested three-pointers.

Once the Mount gained control, the Terriers, who won one game last season, lost most of their intensity.

Phelan effectively used a big-man trio of freshman Gerben Van Dorpe, sophomore Randy Endy and senior Matt Meakin to wear down the smaller Terriers inside.

Meanwhile, Cheung, a 6-foot-2 guard from Olney, kept burning St. Francis from the perimeter, scoring 16 in the second half.

"Cheung reminds me a lot of guys we had coming off the bench in years past that gave us an instant spark," said Phelan, in his 41st year at the Mount, who recorded his 726th career victory. "He comes in ready to get the ball and shoot it."

Cheung, who was redshirted his freshman year, began showing his potential with a 25-point outing against Loyola on Dec. 17. That earned him more playing time, and he has taken advantage.

"I've got my confidence now," Cheung said. "When I come into the game, I try to score right off the bat. Tonight, I just felt like everything was going in the hole."

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