Monmouth halts skid of 12 years at Mount

Mountaineers are dealt 11th loss in 12 games, 84-60

January 29, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

EMMITSBURG - All that Monmouth needed to end more than a decade of deprivation at Knott Arena was the hot hand of Rahsaan Johnson.

The Hawks' mercurial point guard poured in 24 first-half points to equal the total of the entire Mount St. Mary's team, then was content to feed his teammates afterward in an 84-60 Northeast Conference victory before 1,078 fans.

The defending NEC champs had not won in Emmitsburg in 4,371 days (Feb. 8, 1990) when current coach Dave Calloway was a junior and beginning to set records that Johnson would later break.

"We were reminded of that all week," said Johnson, the backcourt runningmate of Steve Francis at Allegany Junior College. "It was like a curse on us or something."

With the Mount (2-16, 1-10 NEC) trailing 25-22, Johnson scored nine of the next 15 Monmouth points to help his team to a comfortable 40-24 halftime cushion.

Johnson said he was surprised that his offense was clicking so well after a demanding double-overtime win at UMBC two nights earlier. "I went home and tried to rest up and got some home cooking," he said. "And I drank a lot of water."

"That was as good a half as anybody has had against us this year," said Mount coach Jim Phelan. "It was no surprise, but everything he put up was right there."

Mount St. Mary's did little to penetrate the Hawks' zone defense and largely was content to fire away from the perimeter, often rushing to beat the shot clock.

More than half the Mount shots (27 of 53) came from beyond the arc and only seven fell.

Asked if he felt the law of averages caught up and Monmouth won here, Phelan replied: "It was the law of talent ... and lack thereof."

Monmouth (11-9, 7-4) is trying to get back into the championship race after a midseason slump. Its 62 percent field-goal accuracy last night helped, with freshmen Dwayne Byfield (17 points) and Blake Hamilton (12) carrying the offense in the second half.

"I don't know what it is about our court," said Phelan, who suffered the 500th loss of his 48-year career. "Everybody comes in here and shoots lights out. It's becoming a familiar script."

The Mount closed to 50-41 on three-pointers by freshman Jason Carbone (career-high 11 points) and Jerry Lloyd, but two minutes later the difference was 16 and Monmouth was never threatened again.

It was the third straight defeat and 11th in 12 games for the Mount, which is listed 321st among the 324 Division I teams in the latest Rating Percentage Index rankings.

MONMOUTH-Bridgemohan 0-0 3-6 3, K.Owens 3-6 4-7 10, Johnson 8-10 8-8 26, Krayl 0-5 2-2 2, Milton 0-2 0-0 0, Short 1-2 0-0 2, Kaplan 0-0 2-2 2, B.Owens 0-0 0-0 0, Hamilton 5-5 1-2 12, Byfield 6-7 0-0 17, Anderson 3-5 0-0 8. Totals 26-42 20-27 84. MOUNT ST. MARY'S-Atangana 3-6 2-6 8, Rivera 2-4 0-0 4, Christian 3-10 4-5 11, Adasi 3-9 1-1 7, Marvray 2-5 1-1 5, Bajornas 1-3 0-0 3, Mark 0-1 1-2 1, Lloyd 3-8 1-2 10, Carbone 4-6 1-2 11, Alexander 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 11-19 60. Halftime-Monmouth 40-24. 3-point goals-Monmouth 12-19 (Johnson 4-4, Krayl 0-2, Milton 0-1, Short 0-1, Hamilton 1-1, Byfield 5-6, Anderson 2-4); Mt. St. Mary's 7-27 (Christian 1-6, Adasi 0-3, Marvary 0-2, Bajornas 1-3, Mark 0-1, Lloyd 3-8, Carbone 2-4). Fouled out-Hamilton, Rivera. Rebounds-Monmouth 29 (Bridgemohan, Johnson 6); Mt. St. Mary's 25 (Atangana 6). Assists-Monmouth 19 (Johnson 5); Mt. St. Mary's 14 (Marvray 5). Total fouls-Monmouth 21; Mt. St. Mary's 21. A-1078.

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