Blue Knights Collect Their First Win of Season

NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team featured a balanced scoring attack as it battled its way to a 67-60 non-conference win over Hartwick on Tuesday night at the Kaplan Center. Senior Kendall Francis led the Mount with 18 points as the Mount scored its first win of the season.

The Mount got off to a hot start on Tuesday, racing out to a 12-4 lead just under four minutes into the contest. Francis opened the scoring with a triple on the first possession of the game as the Mount opened the game 5-for-8 from the floor, including a pair of triples. Tristan Millett keyed the run with five points for the Mount.

After jumping out to the quick lead, the Mount saw the visitors use a 13-0 run covering just over four minutes to surge in front 17-12 with 10:50 left before halftime. The Hawks missed just one of their seven shots over the run and forced four Mount Saint Mary turnovers.

Austin Haskell led the surge with six points for Hartwick.

Mount Saint Mary would not pull even after going scoreless for over four minutes, but would move to within 22-20 on a Francis triple with 6:45 left in the first period. Hartwick went on to score 11 of the final 18 points of the first period, including six more points from Haskell to take a 33-27 advantage into the intermission.

Mount Saint Mary finished the opening 20 minutes converting at 39.3-percent, while Hartwick shot an efficient 51.9-percent overall despite a 2-for-10 effort from three-point range.

Haskell led all scorers at the break with 19 points, while the Knights received seven points from Jameson Morton.

Mount Saint Mary fell behind by eight points coming out of the intermission, but an Ethan Fox lay-in started a quick seven point run for the Mount that got it within 35-34. Fox scored four of the points over the stretch, with Jovin Ramos canning a three-pointer.

Hartwick moved back in front 39-34 on a Kyle Bradshaw conversion at the 14:26 mark of the second stanza, before a Francis jumper ignited a 10-0 spurt that saw the Mount pull in front 44-39. Francis knotted the game at 39-39 with a three-pointer at the 12:14 mark of the half and capped the spurt with another triple with 10:35 left in regulation time.

The 10-point run gave the Knights the lead for good in the game with the advantage growing to 54-44 on a Fox lay-in with just over seven minutes left in the contest. The Knights did not let the Hawks closer than five points the remainder of the night and grabbed a game-high 59-48 lead on a Morton triple with 4:15 left in the game.

After allowing Hartwick to convert at nearly 52-percent in the first half, the Mount stifled the Hawks after halftime, holding them to 23.8-percent shooting. The Mount shot 48.3-percent after halftime, including a 5-for-11 effort from three-point range.

Francis led a trio in double-figures after going 6-for-18 from the floor with four three-pointers. He added three rebounds and handed out five assists in the win. Fox reached double-figures for the first time this season with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds and a blocked shot. Morton finished off a strong all-around night with 10 points, a team-high seven rebounds and five assists for the Knights.

Junior Paul Sienke chipped in eight points to the balanced scoring attack, adding four rebounds and four assists, while Millett finished up with four points, three steals and a pair of rebounds.

Haskell led all scorers in the game for Hartwick with 29 points on 12-for-20 shooting with Bradshaw posting 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Bobby Connors rounded out the night with nine points, 10 boards and a pair of steals.

Mount Saint Mary finished the night shooting 43.9-percent overall and its defense held the Hawks to 16 points under its season average, while allowing only five triples to a team averaging better 10 per game. The Hawks entered the game shooting 42.4-percent as a team and nearly 36-percent from three-point range and were held to 34.8-percent overall and 18.5-percent from bonus distance.

At 1-4 overall on the season, Mount Saint Mary returns to action on December 11 when it travels to Lehman. Tip-off with the Lightning is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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