Mount routs Long Island in NEC opener, 92-74 Van Dorpe's career-high 20 lead 5 in double figures

January 07, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

EMMITSBURG -- After a nonconference schedule against big-time teams, Mount St. Mary's could have been a candidate for a letdown last night in its Northeast Conference opener at Knott Arena.

But down the stretch, the Mountaineers performed as if they were back in Atlanta, where they upset Georgia Tech on Dec. 18 for the biggest victory of coach Jim Phelan's 42-year career.

As a consequence, Long Island University took a pounding in the final 11 minutes and fell, 92-74.

"We know Long Island isn't Wake Forest or Georgia Tech," said point guard Riley Inge, who had 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Mount (5-4, 1-0). "But we all tried to believe they were and get focused."

The Blackbirds (3-6, 0-1) are nearing the end of a seven-game road streak in which they are winless. It was their sixth straight defeat during that period, but they provided some doubts for the crowd of 2,895.

Long Island closed to within 60-58 with 11:39 to play before five points by Jeff Balistrere and two three-pointers by Chris McGuthrie (who had been quiet offensively) dismissed the comeback.

The flurry built the Mountaineers' lead to 71-58, and Inge spent most of the remainder of the game feeding big man Gerben Van Dorpe (career-high 20 points) for easy inside baskets.

"We figured LIU was going to make another run," said Inge. "So we didn't want to take all deep jumpers anymore. Once Gerben made four straight [for an 85-70 cushion], we thought it was over."

The defending NEC champions finished with 59.4 percent shooting and never appeared out of control while remaining unbeaten in three games at Knott.

"Those are the kind [of games] we have been giving away in the past because we couldn't continue anything," said Phelan, who was back on the sidelines after missing only the second game of his 42-year career last Saturday because of the flu.

"And I was afraid of a possible letdown because everybody on our team tends to think we're going to waltz right through these kinds of teams."

Van Dorpe, the 6-foot-11 native of Belgium, led the scoring with 20 points, topping his career high by two. Balistrere contributed 16 on 7-for-8 shooting, and McGuthrie closed with 16 after getting only two in the first half.

The total pushed McGuthrie past Fred Carter into second place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,841 points.

"I'm reasonably satisfied with the way we were able to put away this game," said Phelan. "I had hoped we wouldn't be looking ahead to the road again. We've been there most of the season."

LONG ISLAND U. -- Dickerson 5-5 0-0 10, Picinic 7-18 4-4 20, Cragan 3-5 0-0 6, Masciale 6-12 6-6 20, Goodall 1-2 3-6 5, Browne 2-2 0-0 5, Noureddine 0-0 0-0 0, Drew 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 14-18 74.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S -- Hayden 2-7 0-0 6, Balistrere 7-8 0-0 16, Van Dorpe 10-17 0-0 20, Inge 6-9 1-2 15, McGuthrie 6-13 0-0 16, Bethel 0-0 2-2 2, Brown 3-3 0-0 6, Cheung 4-7 2-3 11, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-64 5-7 92.

-- Halftime--Mount St. Mary's 48-40. 3-point goals--LI 6-18 (Picinic 2-7, Masciale 2-4, Feeley 1-6, Browne 1-1), MSM 11-23 (Hayden 2-5, Balistrere 2-2, Inge 2-5, McGuthrie 4-8, Cheung 1-3). Fouled out--LI, Masciale. Rebounds--LI 30 (Feeley 10), MSM 28 (Hayden 8). Assists--LI 13 (Masciale 3), MSM 23

(Inge 8). Total fouls--LI 13, MSM 16. A--2,895.

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