THROGGS NECK – Led by a career-high 30 points from senior Tyler McDine and 17 points off the bench from sophomore Kendall Francis, the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team moved one step closer to securing a berth in the Skyline Conference Championship with an important 73-67 road win at Maritime on Saturday afternoon.
After falling behind by five points early, the Knights got the game even at 8-8 on a Daniel Wolff three-pointer and grabbed their first lead, 12-10, on a Paul Sienke bucket just over seven minutes into the contest.
Maritime answered with the next eight points to pull in front 16-10 and maintained the lead until a Gerard Nocera triple got things even at 18-18. A Francis three-pointer moved the Knights back in front 21-18, before the Mount went over four minutes between buckets.
Maritime claimed a 25-21 lead before a McDine conversion ended the drought and he went on to score seven points over the final three minutes of the period. He hit a three-pointer to give the Mount a 31-29 lead with 51 seconds left before halftime, before Brennan Whelan hit a pair of free-throws to send the two teams to the break even at 31-31.
McDine scored nine points before the break, going 4-for-8 from the floor as the Knights shot better than 46-percent over the opening 20 minutes. Michael Walker led all scorers at the break with 10 points for Maritime, who shot 44.4-percent in the half.
Maritime jumped back in front by as many as four points coming out of halftime, before a McDine triple with 16:30 left in regulation put the Mount back in front 38-37. The Privateers answered and retook the lead, and maintained it, until McDine knotted things at 43-43 with a layup. The McDine lay-in was part of a 13-2 run that saw the Mount grab a 52-45 lead on a Francis conversion with just under nine minutes to play.
The Knights took their first double-digit lead on a McDine bucket with 4:30 left and moved in front by a game-high 11 points on a Francis three-point play that gave them a 65-54 lead with 3:35 remaining. Maritime mounted a final charge and got to within 68-65 with 54 seconds left, but the Mount knocked in three free-throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Mount Saint Mary shot 58.3-percent in the second half, led by an 8-for-11 showing from McDine who scored 21 points after the break. Francis scored 14 of his 17 points after halftime as the Mount outscored the Privateers by five from the free-throw line in the second half.
McDine finished his career day 12-for-19 from the floor, making only two three-pointers and four free-throws. He added two rebounds, a steal and an assist for the Knights. Andrew Holmes netted 12 points for the Mount and led the team with four assists, while Francis finished up 5-for-5 from the floor, with two triples, and 5-for-5 from the foul line, scoring 17 of the team’s 21 bench points. Wolff led the team with seven boards on Saturday.
Walker rounded out the day with 23 points for the Privateers with John Liccese posting 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Patrick MacDonald finished off a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for Maritime.
The Knights shot an even 52-percet from the floor for the game and held a 20-13 advantage in points off of turnovers. Maritime converted at 47.2-percent and outscored the Mount 11-0 in second chance points.