Francis Nets Career-High In Come-Back Victory

NEWBURGH – Junior Kendall Francis led a trio of Knights in double-figures and poured in a career-high 34 points on Saturday as the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team rallied from a 20-point first half deficit to down visiting Old Westbury 81-76. The win improves the Mount’s perfect start at home to 4-0.

The Knights found themselves down 31-11 just past the midway point of the first half following an Alan McDonald jumper with 9:43 left before halftime. The bucket capped a 9-2 spurt for the Panthers with Inderpal Dhaliwal and McDonald combing for all nine tallies.

Following the McDonald bucket, the Mount put together a 26-4 run that covered nearly six minutes to surge in front 37-35 on a pair of Connor Bacci free-throws with just shy of three minutes left in the period. The Mount went a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor over the run, including 5-for-5 from bonus distance, to pull in front. Francis sparked the run with 17 points, knocking in four triples.

Old Westbury would pull back in front on a Mike Snowden bucket and finished the frame with seven of the final nine points to carry a 43-39 lead into the intermission. The Knights got off just one field goal attempt in the final 90 seconds, while Old Westbury converted its final three attempts.

Both teams were efficient in the opening 20 minutes, with the Mount converting at 53.8-percent overall and Old Westbury hitting on 52.9-percent of its attempts. The Panthers made four more field goals in the half, while the Mount knocked in five more free-throws. Francis led all scorers at the break with 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including four three-pointers.

Mount Saint Mary opened the second half on an 11-0 run to move in front 50-43 keyed by six points from Paul Sienke over the first three minutes of the period. Old Westbury grabbed a 58-57 lead on a Chase Johnson conversion with 10:23 left, but the Mount grabbed the lead right back on a Francis lay-in.

The Francis bucket started a 14-2 run for the Knights that saw them grab a game-high 71-60 lead on a Francis triple with 6:29 left to play. The lead would hit double-figures two more times in the final minutes before Knights claimed the final five point advantage.

Francis finished the game 10-for-19 from the floor and 5-for-10 from three-point range on his way to the career-high point total. He added a 9-for-12 effort from the free-throw line, nine rebounds and four assists to the winning effort.

Sienke rounded out the win with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, adding four rebounds, and Bacci chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists. Jameson Morton came off the bench to contribute nine points and a trio of rebounds for the Knights.

Old Westbury was led by 20 points from McDonald who led five players in double-figures. Justin Alleyne-Washington added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Pedro Marquez finished the day with 16 points and a game-high six assists.

Mount Saint Mary rounded out the day shooting 52.7-percent from the floor and hit on eight of its 15 three-point field goal attempts. The Knights held Old Westbury to 43.1-percent shooting and a 33.3-percent effort from three-point range and outscored the Panthers 42-26 in the paint and 14-4 in transition.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email