The Mountaineers are riding a five-game winning streak right now, with four wins over St. Francis (BKN), Sacred Heart, Robert Morris and St. Francis (PA) ahead of Tuesday's First Four victory in a nail-biter against New Orleans 67-66.
"Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers defeated Saint Francis on March 7th to Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament and return to the NCAA tourney after two years" absence.
He scored eight of the Mountaineers' first 15 points, including a three-pointer that pushed the Mount's lead to 18-11, capping a 13-1 run, aided by six straight missed shots by New Orleans.
It was the first trip to the Big Dance for the Privateers since 1996, while the Mountaineers made their fifth tournament appearance in program history. Mount St. Mary's responded with a Junior Robinson jump shot to give them a one-point advantage.
The highlight in question is an intense argument and subsequent apparent attempt at a choke by New Orleans forward Travin Thibodeaux on teammate Christavious Gill.
Hart and Jenkins have a complementary star in Jalen Brunson, and the point guard is averaging 14.8 points and 4.2 assists per game. In the Mount's four postseason games this year, the junior is averaging 21.3 points per game.
Prediction: Mount St. Mary's has nothing to lose in this game, and look for the Mountaineers to come out loose and playing well.
That Mount St. Mary's defense, along with First Team All-NEC performer Long, led the Mountaineers to 14 conference wins. "The biggest issues was we never got into a groove defensively where we could keep them in what I feel like is our main fundamental areas".
The Privateers came up with the stop, but there were only 2.9 seconds left when Thomas grabbed the rebound and called a timeout.
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The most risky mid- and low-majors come NCAA Tournament time are those with no fear, and Mount St. Mary's certainly qualifies. That's likely not going to change in the Tournament, so knocking down their shots becomes of even more importance if they hope to pull off an upset.
The month of March is synonymous with basketball.
"There's just an excitement in the air", said student Michael Carolan.
"I mean, records are meant to be broken", he said, "and we have the confidence going into this game, that if we take care of things the way we're supposed to and handle ourselves in the manner that we can, why not?"
"[My] first year, we couldn't really compete for anything because we were transitioning from D2 to D1", Frye says.
This win ignited excitement across the Emmitsburg campus, and at the university's watch party. "I don't know if we're better".
"It was all new to us".
"I think we can't emphasize enough that this isn't the end goal".