NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team suffered a 76-65 home loss on Friday to visiting Cobleskill. Senior Kendall Francis led a balanced scoring attack with a team-high 17 points.
After jumping in front 5-3 in the early going on Friday, the Mount saw Cobleskill score 11 of the next 13 points to pull in front 14-7 with 14:59 left in the opening stanza. The Mount made just one of its five attempts over the Tigers’ run, while the visitors were 4-for-5 from the field with a three-pointer.
The Mount would battle back to tie the score at 18-18, but could never pull ahead again in the game. Paul Sienke converted a layup with 8:28 left in the half to get the Knights even, but Cobleskill answered with a three-pointer from Kevin Cadet to get back in front 21-18.
The Knights got the game even again at 21-21 on a Jameson Morton three-point play, but Cobleskill again answered on the ensuing possession to grab the lead. Mount Saint Mary knotted the score for a third time at 29-29 on a Nick Lucas conversion, but the Tigers again answered and closed the half with a quick 6-2 spurt to carry a 35-29 lead into halftime.
Both teams shot better than 40-percent in the opening stanza, with the Knights converting at 42.3-percent and the visitors shooting 43.8-percent. Francis and Cobleskill’s James Conteh led all scorers at the break with 11 points apiece.
Mount Saint Mary used a pair of Ethan Fox free-throws and a Morton bucket in the early stages of the second half to even the score once again at 35-35, but Cobleskill used a 13-6 stretch covering nearly six minutes to open a 54-41 lead on an Antwan Claxton three-pointer with 10:03 left in regulation time.
After moving in front by double-figures, Cobleskill allowed the Mount to within single digits just three times over the remainder of the contest. An 11-5 stretch saw the Tigers pull in front by a game-high 18 points on a Jahmr Jordan triple with 3:58 left to play with the Mount only getting as close as nine points the rest of the way.
The Knights dipped to 39.3-percent shooting after halftime and went 2-for-7 from the three-point line, while Cobleskill improved to 48-percent shooting in the second frame and outscored the Mount by five from the free-throw line. Conteh scored 14 points for Cobleskill in the second half, while Morton tallied 10 times after the break for the Mount.
Francis closed the night 6-for-16 from the floor with a pair of triples, adding four rebounds and a trio of assists. Sienke contributed 13 points for the Mount on 4-for-5 shooting and a 5-for-7 effort from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and three assists for the Knights.
Morton rounded out the evening with 12 points after going 5-for-10 from the floor, adding three assists and three steals. Fox chipped in 10 tallies and led the Mount with eight rebounds. Tristan Millett added three steals and hit one of the team’s five three-pointers on the night.
Cobleskill saw Conteh pour in a game-high 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three helpers. Claxton posted a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Claxton finished off a big all-around night with four steals and three blocked shots.
Mount Saint Mary finished the game shooting 40.7-percent overall, but just 26.3-percent from three-point range. Cobleskill shot 45.6-percent overall and forced 25 Mount Saint Mary turnovers that translated into 27 points.
Friday’s loss drops Mount Saint Mary to 1-6 overall on the season. The Knights will return to action and close out 2019 on December 30 when they play host to Marywood. Tip-off with the Pacers is set for 2:00 p.m.