Mount edges St. Francis, enters NEC win column Young New York opponent hangs in until end, 79-73

January 09, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's started with four straight losses in Northeast Conference play last season and desperately needed a win last night to avoid the prospect of doing it again.

The Mount got it against St. Francis (N.Y.), but it was far from easy.

"This was a huge win for us because if we go 0-3 facing a road game [at Monmouth Wednesday], it could mean our confidence goes," said Mount forward Tony Hayden, who accumulated 16 points, a game-high 10 rebounds and two steals in the 79-73 victory.

But a young St. Francis team (7-5, 2-2 NEC) hung in contention until the final minute, when the Mount put away the triumph at the foul line.

It was the 777th career win for venerable coach Jim Phelan, but only the second in the last five games for a team expected to compete for the NEC title.

Phelan chose to toss compliments at the opposition, which features seven foreign players and four key sophomores or freshmen.

"That team's pretty good," said Phelan. "They're big and they have a couple of shooters who can fill it up and a couple of drivers. They feel like they can be in this thing."

The Terriers led most of the first half before a three-pointer by Eric Bethel gave Mount St. Mary's (5-7, 1-2) a 30-28 lead at the break.

The margin was still two (42-40) with 12: 40 remaining before a mini-run of six consecutive points gave the Mount a cushion.

St. Francis was still within 66-60 with two minutes left when Greg Harris hit a three-pointer for the Mount coming out of a timeout.

In the final 30 seconds, Gerben Van Dorpe (20 points, eight rebounds) hit four free throws in a row and Bethel added two to seal the win.

"We really had to work for this one," said Van Dorpe, whose 10-for-12 effort from the line was a big part of the team's 23-for-32 success.

"They really surprised us," said Hayden. "It seemed like they played four guards almost all the time the way some of their big guys could shoot."

"It was a worthwhile win," said Phelan. "It would have been tough going to Monmouth without one. You have to get your home games in the conference."

Freshman Henry LaLane led St. Francis with 16 points and freshman Richy Dominguez (from Colombia) had 15.

LaLane has already set the NEC freshman record for three-pointers in a game with seven.

The Mount played without backup point guard A. J. Herbert (Calvert Hall), who broke his ankle at practice Tuesday and is out at least several weeks.

ST. FRANCIS (N.Y.) -- Osorio 2-8 0-0 4, Santana 4-13 0-1 11, Reyes 3-7 0-3 6, Thomas 3-8 5-5 11, Minlend 4-8 2-6 10, Abel 0-0 0-0 0, Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, Dominguez 6-8 2-2 15, LaLane 5-14 3-5 16. Totals 27-66 12-22 73.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S -- Gayle 3-4 1-1 7, Hayden 4-10 7-11 16, Van Dorpe 5-8 10-12 20, Harris 5-9 0-1 11, Bethel 3-7 4-6 12, Balgac 0-1 0-0 0, Conwell 3-7 1-1 7, Brown 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 26-51 23-32 79.

Halftime--Mount St. Mary's, 30-28. 3-point goals--SF 7-22 (Santana 3-8, LaLane 3-9, Dominguez 1-2, Thomas 0-1, Minlend 0-2); MSM 4-13 (Bethel 2-6, Hayden 1-1, Harris 1-4, Balgac 0-1, Van Dorpe 0-1.) Rebounds--SF 34 (Osorio 9); MSM 36 (Hayden 10). Assists--SF 12 (Thomas 6); MSM 16 (Harris 6). Total fouls--SF MSM 21. Fouled out--Gayle, Thomas. Att--908.

Pub Date: 1/09/98

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