Blue Knights Earn Their Second Straight Victory

By Matt Merritt

NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team rallied to defeat the Scarlet Raiders from Rutgers-Newark 68-60 at home Wednesday night. Connor Cyran lead all scorers with a game-high 18 points for the Knights.

Wednesday night’s victory moves the Mount to 4-7 overall while maintaining their 1-2 record in league play. Rutgers-Newark slides to 2-8 overall with the loss and keeps its conference record at 1-3.

First Half
The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead early, following layups by Cyran and Elijah Barnett with 18:07 left in the opening half.

Brenden Graham hit a layup at the 13:52 mark to give the Knights a 10-7 lead, but the Scarlet Raiders struck back the following possession, with Shy’Heed Jenkins-Floyd assisting on a Tony Godwin triple to knot the game at 10-10 with 13:33 remaining in the first half.
Cyran drilled a three-point jumper off a feed from Chris Yearwood to give the Mount a 20-16 advantage with 6:23 left in the opening stanza.

A Jordan Salisbury layup knotted the game at 21-21 at the 5:19 mark.

The Knights went on a run to end the period, with Cyran knocking down a triple and Yearwood knocking down a free throw to give the Knights a 34-30 lead entering the break.

Cyran scored 16 of his 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting overall and 3-for-5 from deep in the first half to pace the Knights.

Levi Holton accounted for 10 points to lead the Scarlet Raiders prior to the break.

The Knights shot 50-percent overall and went 4-of-9 from three in the first half.

Rutgers-Newark shot 42.3-percent from the floor and were 5-of-9 on triples in the opening half.

Second Half
The two sides traded buckets in the opening minutes of the second half before Yearwood knocked down a three to put the Knights in front 40-36 at the 17:22 mark.

The Scarlet Raiders knotted the game at 41-41 after Jenkins-Floyd sunk a layup off a pass from Holton with 14:41 left in regulation.

Rutgers-Newark took its largest lead of the game at the 11:48 mark when Holton got a jumper to fall putting his team ahead 48-44.

Barnett drilled a triple with 9:01 left in the game off a feed from Rob Tansey to tie things up at 52-52.

Graham put the Mount back in front 57-56 with a pull-up jumper with 4:17 remaining in the game.

Barnett was sent to the stripe with the Knights down 60-58, and he knocked down both shots to tie it at 60 at the 2:16 mark.

With time running out on the shot clock, Jayden Racca hit a huge three to break the 60-60 tie with 93 seconds to go.

Racca then got it done on the other end, blocking Godwin’s three-point attempt. A subsequent foul sent Graham to the free throw line with 23 seconds left, which he hit one of two to give the Knights a 64-60 edge.

Barnett picked Godwin’s pocket on the following possession and threw down an emphatic slam to ice the game at 66-60 with just 10 seconds remaining.

Cyran hit a pair of free throws to end it, with the Knights winning 68-60.

Barnett came up big in the second half, scoring 13 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and swatting two shots.

Godwin scored 10 second half points for the Scarlet-Raiders.

The Mount’s shooting slightly regressed after half-time, as they shot 9-for-22 from the floor and 5-for-12 from deep.

Rutgers-Newark shot just 34.4-percent overall after the break and did not make a three in nine tries.

For The Knights
Cyran finished the contest with 18 points on 60-percent shooting, including 3-for-6 from three, as well as seven rebounds.

Barnett ended up with a double-double, posting 15 points and 10 boards while swatting five shots.

Yearwood put up 12 points and a team-high five assists.

Racca chipped in seven points, five caroms, and a pair of blocks.

For The Scarlet Raiders
Holton led his squad with 14 points and seven boards.

Godwin contributed 13 points, five boards, two assists, and a pair of steals.

Jenkins-Floyd ripped down six rebounds and assisted on five buckets.

The Knights will return to play on December 30 to take on Marywood University on the road.

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