Balanced Scoring Leads the Mount Past Purchase

PURCHASE – Elijah Barnett led four players in double-figures with 14 points and Jayden Figueroa recorded a double-double on Saturday afternoon as the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball collected its first conference win of the season with a 65-59 road win over Purchase.

Saturday’s win stops a three-game losing streak for the Knights and moves them to 3-7 overall on the year and 1-2 against league rivals. Purchase falls to 5-5 overall through 10 games and 1-3 against conference rivals.

First Half
Purchase opened the scoring with a Mark Morgan three-pointer 29 seconds into the contest that gave the Panthers a 3-0 advantage.

Mount Saint Mary would tie the score twice over the first 4:44 of tilt, but would not take its first lead until a Justin Rivera triple gave it a 10-7 advantage.

After gaining the advantage, the Mount would not trail again in the half.

After Purchase knotted the score at 12-12, the Knights ripped off six straight points, capped by a Connor Cyran three-pointer to build their advantage out to 18-12.

A Ryan Graham trey gave the Knights a 26-19 advantage with 8:28 left before halftime.

Purchase sliced its disadvantage to 27-24 on an Isaac Johnson jumper, but the Mount responded with another 6-0 stretch to spread its lead to 33-24 with 2:24 left in the half.

The Knights did not allow Purchase closer than five points the remainder of the half and used a Cyran three-pointer with 1:23 left in the half to grab a 41-31 lead, the advantage the Knights would take into the intermission.

Mount Saint Mary shot an efficient 50.0-percent (12-for-24) prior to halftime, including a 5-for-9 effort from three-point range.

Purchase was held to 36.7-percent shooting in the opening period and struggled from distance with a 3-for-14 showing from behind the arc.

Graham led the Mount’s first have scoring attack with 11 points, highlighted by two three-pointers.

Matthew Phillips led Purchase before halftime with nine points.

Second Half
The Knights pushed their lead to 43-31 on a Figueroa lay-in in the first minute of the second stanza.

The Mount’s lead ballooned to 14 points when Barnett canned a jumper just under four minutes after the intermission.

Purchase put together an 8-0 run in just under a minute keyed by triples from Elijah Holmes and Morgan to pull to within 49-46 with 12:22 left in regulation time.

Jayden Racca stopped the run with a jumper to get the Mount back out in front by five points.

The Panthers would get its deficit down to three points on two more occasions, but would not be able to get any closer.

Barnet converted a layup with 7:22 left to push the Mount’s lead out to 58-50.

Purchase closed the gap to five points twice over the final 6:42, but two Chris Yearwood free-throws spread the advantage back to 65-56 with 17 seconds left to play.

Purchase got one final three-pointer from Morgan in the closing seconds to get the deficit to the final 65-59 advantage for the Knights.

Mount Saint Mary cooled to just 29.6-percent shooting after halftime and went without a three-pointer in eight attempts.

Purchase converted at 35.7-percent after the break and went 4-for-9 from bonus distance.

Barnett led the way after halftime for the Knights with eight points.

Morgan and Terrence Mason led the Panthers with nine second half points apiece.

For The Knights
Barnett finished with a team-high 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting overall and a perfect 4-for-4 showing from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds and three steals to the winning effort.

Graham netted 12 points, connecting on two triples, and collected two rebounds.

Cyran chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and a team-high three assists.

Figueroa notched a double-double with 10 points and a game and season-high 18 rebounds.

For The Panthers
Morgan recorded a game-high 15 points on the strength of a 4-for-10 showing from behind the arc. He added five rebounds for the Panthers.

Johnson and Holmes each came off the bench to score 10 points and collect seven rebounds apiece. Holmes led all players in the game with five assists.

Phillips led the team with eight rebounds and joined Mason with nine points.

The Knights host Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday in their final game before the Holiday Break.

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