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NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team dropped back-to-back decisions for the first time this season following a hard fought 83-76 loss to Old Westbury on Saturday afternoon. Five Knights scored in double-figures in the game, including freshman Jovin Ramos who poured in a career-high 14 points.
In a high scoring first half, A Gerard Nocera triple pushed the Knights in front 8-5 just 1:55 into the contest. The Panthers would gain a three point advantage of their own on a Preston Powell triple before a 10-4 stretch from the Mount, highlighted by a pair of Connor Bacci triples, moved the Knights in front 20-17 with 13:29 left before halftime.
Old Westbury responded with a 15-5 run covering 5:29 to jump in front 32-25 following a Jamail Stanley bucket at the eight minute mark of the opening stanza. The Panthers went 5-for-8 from the floor over the run, including three triples, and held the Knights to 1-for-5 shooting.
After climbing back to within a point on an Owen Heath three-point play with 4:36 left before halftime, the Knights saw Old Westbury score 11 of the final 14 points of the first half to carry a 44-35 lead into the intermission. Lylle Ryals highlighted the run with a three-pointer for the Panthers.
Old Westbury finished the first half shooting 44.1-percent and knocked in eight three-point field goals. The Knights converted at an even 40-percent and went 4-for-9 from three-point range. Powell led all scorers at the break with 13 points, while Nocera paced the Knights with 11 first half points.
Old Westbury maintained the advantage coming out of the break and pushed the lead to double-figures on a Ryals conversion at the 15:29 mark of the second half. The lead for the Panthers grew to a game-high 12 points twice in the middle stages of the first half before a 15-2 run for the Mount erased the disadvantage.
Ramos started the rally with a three-pointer and the Knights went 6-for-9 from the floor over the stretch that lasted 5:25. Ramos scored half of his 14 points over the run that was capped by a Connor Nicholson jumper that moved the Mount in front 70-69 with 4:33 left in regulation time.
Coming out of a timeout, Terrin Roland gave Old Westbury the lead back with a three-pointer and a fifth Powell three-pointer spread the lead back out to 79-71 with 63 seconds left. The Knights made just one field goal following the lead changing bucket from Nicholson, a Ramos three-pointer with 27 seconds remaining in the game.
Ramos finished the game 5-for-10 from the floor in the game and added two rebounds to his career-high point total. Heath scored a season-high 10 points after going 4-for-6 from the floor to go along with three rebounds and an assist.
Nocera led the Knights’ scoring attack with 16 points and collected a team-high nine rebounds. Nicholson and Bacci scored 11 and 10 points respectively, with Nicholson and Nocera joining Tyler McDine with a team-high three assists.
Old Westbury was led by 27 points from Stanley who finished with the game-high in scoring and rebounding with 14. He closed out a strong all-around game with six assists and five blocks. Powell finished the game 5-for-10 from three-point range on his way to 21 points with Stphon Odle posting nine points and five assists.
Old Westbury was the second straight team to shoot better than 40-percent from the three-point line against the Knights, finishing the game 15-for-37 from distance. The Panthers shot 45.3-percent overall for the game and outscored the Knights 15-5 in second chance points. Mount Saint Mary finished at 45-percent from the floor overall and went 7-for-20 from the free-point line.
Saturday’s loss drops Mount Saint Mary to 9-6 overall and to 4-3 in Skyline Conference play. The Knights will play their third straight game against a South Division foe on Wednesday when they travel to St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn. Tip-off with the Bears is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.