Late 3-pointer finishes Mount

Team falls in quarterfinals of NEC tourney

Robert Morris 67 Mount St. Mary's 66

March 03, 2006|By KEN MURRAY | KEN MURRAY,SUN REPORTER

EMMITSBURG -- After 120 grueling minutes and three riveting games, there was little to separate Mount St. Mary's and Robert Morris this season.

But freshman guard Jeremy Chappell took what little daylight there was and made the shot that ended the Mountaineers' season in a Northeast Conference tournament quarterfinal last night at Knott Arena.

Chappell's fall-away three-point jumper from the corner with 12.3 seconds left and Landy Thompson in his face lifted No. 5 seed Robert Morris to a 67-66 victory.

Befitting a three-game season series in which the biggest winning margin was two points, the fourth-seeded Mountaineers got off a final shot, but Joey Butler's desperation heave from the foul line was short. A mad scramble for the loose ball ensued under the basket, but time expired before Mount St. Mary's could get the ball back.

"One shot just changed the whole thing," Thompson said after ending his college career shooting 1-for-9 in a three-point performance.

Chappell's make and Butler's miss left the Mountaineers in a state of shock, ruining their first NEC home playoff game in 10 years.

The Mount (13-17) had won both regular-season games against Robert Morris (15-13), winning 60-59 at home and 64-62 in Pittsburgh. Even though the Mountaineers led by as many as eight points with 12 minutes to play, coach Milan Brown knew better than to expect an easy finish.

"I wouldn't expect anything less than it to come down to a last-second play," he said. "This time the roles were a little reversed."

In Mount St. Mary's two victories, Robert Morris had shots either to win or to tie at the end, and missed both. This time, Chappell, who scored a game-high 25 points, pulled it through.

Trailing 66-64, Robert Morris coach Mark Schmidt wanted the ball to go to Chappell in the corner or to A.J. Jackson down low.

"We tried to have our two best offensive players on the same side of the court," Schmidt said. "That was a tough shot."

Then it was Mount St. Mary's turn. The Mountaineers set a high screen for Butler, but he was pressured by Derek Coleman and Jackson and picked up his dribble, then had nowhere to go with the ball.

"We just wanted to get people around him," said Robert Morris' Tony Lee. "We had a lot of bodies around and he kept spinning and spinning."

In the end, Robert Morris won the game as much at the foul line as on Chappell's heroics. The Colonials hit 19 of 22 after spending an extra 20 minutes at each practice this week working on foul shots.

The Mountaineers, normally good foul shooters, made just 13 of 20, and only six of their last 11.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

ROBERT MORRIS-Jackson 4-10 4-6 14, Senat 0-0 5-5 5, Coleman 3-9 2-2 10, Chappell 9-19 4-5 25, Lee 3-7 4-4 11, Lancaster 0-0 0-0 0, Boston 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 20-47 19-22 67. MOUNT ST. MARY'S-K.Butler 6-9 5-7 18, Atupem 1-2 0-0 2, Kearse 5-10 1-2 12, Thompson 1-9 0-0 3, J.Butler 2-4 2-2 6, Durr 6-10 2-5 15, Sumner 1-4 0-0 3, Cook 0-4 0-0 0, Mitchell 2-2 3-4 7. Totals 24-54 13-20 66. Halftime-Mount St. Mary's 34-33. 3-point goals-Robert Morris 8-23 (Chappell 3-7, Coleman 2-6, Jackson 2-7, Lee 1-3), Mount St. Mary's 5-20 (Kearse 1-1, Durr 1-2, K.Butler 1-3, Sumner 1-4, Thompson 1-7, J.Butler 0-1, Cook 0-2). Fouled out-Lee. Rebounds-Robert Morris 30 (Chappell 8), Mount St. Mary's 32 (Kearse 13). Assists-Robert Morris 9 (Coleman 5), Mount St. Mary's 14 (J.Butler 5). Total fouls-Robert Morris 15, Mount St. Mary's 20. A-1,354.

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