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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Full updated and edited MU story on MSM game

Notes from me - Youngblood (knee) hobbling after the game. Says he's OK.

Bunch, last two missed foul shots aside, was the difference.

Outcome certainly could have gone either way.

MU tried to hand it back after rallying to go in front, but to their credit hung in there. Two big FTs by Delic into the teeth of the MSM fans under the basket, and then Youngbolod (on the bench much of the second half as he had not been plying well) comes into the game and - BANG!


As far as s I know Bunch did not block the last shot ( he was still up the floor after shooting the FTS).

Good job by MU getting back though and Alston stood in there to take the charge.

After the missed shot by Goode, it was rebounded in..but clearly after the buzzer.

Overlooked fact - a nice job by Alex Nunner in the first half (eight minutes, one 3, no turnovers).






By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

EMMITSBURG, Md. - The Monmouth University men's basketball team has spent most of its Division I years losing hard-to-swallow games at Mount St. Mary's. But Saturday night Monmouth staged a pair of second half rallies and tasted triumph.



It took the lead on a 3 by freshman Jhamar Youngblood with 18 seconds showing and survived a game-ending layup attempt by Mount freshman point guard Jeremy Goode to hold on for a tense 61-60 Northeast Conference victory that enhanced the Hawks bid to qualify for the NEC Tournament.

With the outcome Monmouth (12-15, 7-8) placed itself in position to clinch an NEC Tournament berth with a win Tuesday at LIU. It also drew closer to the Mount (9-18, 8-8) and a possible fifth (or even fourth) place finish. The top eight teams qualify for the NEC post season.


""I remember so many games we lost here at the end,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach. Monmouth had lost 13 of its prior 16 visits to the Knott Arena. ""Crazy games,'' said Calloway.

None more so than Saturday night but with a different outcome.

With 4.7 seconds left and Monmouth in front by the final score senior John Bunch (11 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks) missed two free throw attempts and Goode sped down the floor. As he approached the basket the entire Monmouth team appeared to converge on him as the shot went up and missed.


Monmouth's Marques Alston, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, reeled backwards. Bodies sprawled on the floor. Whistles remained silent while the Knott Arena crowd of 1,213 screamed in anguish and Mount coach Milan Brown briefly ran onto the floor to protest.


""It was so congested I didn't see (what happened),'' said Monmouth senior Dejan Delic who scored all nine of his points in the second half. ""I don't know if he (Goode) got fouled while he was driving. At the end Marques took a good charge, too. It always comes down to no calls. The refs don't want to call that in the last second.''



""I got pushed first,'' said Goode. ""Then when he pushed me that's when I shot the ball. Somebody just like came across me. It was either a charge (on Goode) or a flagrant foul I would think.''

But it was Youngblood's right corner trey that ultimately rescued Monmouth. Youngblood (nine points), who sat out most of the second half, got loose in the right corner and let it fly after receiving a pass from Whitney Coleman (six points, five assists).


" I knew I had to shoot it, that I couldn't go to the hole,'' said Youngblood. ""Most of the time when I know I'm going to shoot it goes in, like when you prepare you know,'' he said. ""That was one of the times.''

The Hawks, down 10 points in the first half, used a 16-5 run to take a 52-46 lead with 4:31 showing.

But then turnovers by Delic and Alston helped fuel a rally that gave Mount a 60-56 advantage with 50 seconds left.

Delic made two from the line 10 seconds later and Mychal Kearse of the Mount dribbled the ball off his foot with 35 seconds remaining returning possession to Monmouth.

" We're still not in it (the NEC Tournament),'' said Delic who Friday guaranteed Monmouth would qualify. ""It was a tough win, this is my first time to win in this place,'' he said. ""It's probably my favorite place to win in the conference because of the atmosphere.''

Monmouth trailed 30-26 after a first half when the deficit could have been much worse were it not for nine points, five rebounds, and two blocks by Bunch.

Some 12 minutes into the half Bunch had gone 3-for-4 from the floor while the remainder of the team languished at 1-for-9. Errors included Delic bobbling away a cross court pass from Alston and Alston fumbling a Mike Shipman pass under the basket.

Monmouth fell behind 28-18 with 3:14 left after two free throws by Sam Atupem. But Coleman, with the crowd screaming "air ball" after he hoisted one early in the game, hit from deep and Alex Nunner came off the bench to add another helping Monmouth close the half on a 8-2 run.


NOTES...Wagner plays a snowed out game Sunday night at Robert Morris.

e-mail tonygsports@aol.com

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