NEWBURGH – Elijah Barnett led five players in double-figures with a game-high 18 points as the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team stopped a three-game losing streak with an impressive 83-64 home victory over Old Westbury Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s win improves Mount Saint Mary to 6-13 overall on the season and 3-7 in Skyline Conference play, while Old Westbury drops to 2-15 overall and 2-8 in league action.
After falling behind 3-0 in the opening minute, the Knights scored the next seven points, keyed by a triple from Ryan Graham, to grab an early 7-3 advantage.
Graham would can back-to-back three-pointers just over four minutes into the contest to push the Knights out in front 13-5.
The Knights pushed their lead to 17-9 on a Jayden Figueroa conversion at the 13:35 mark of the first half.
Old Westbury climbed back to within two points, at 20-18, on a Max Weinberg bucket, but the Knights answered with the next seven points to jump in front 27-18 with 9:30 left before halftime.
The Mount’s advantage reached 10 points twice in the opening period, first when Connor Cyran pushed the Knights in front 36-26 on a free-throw with 5:14 left in the half and again when Justin Rivera sunk a pair from the stripe to give the Mount a 38-28 lead with 3:35 to go in the half.
Following the Rivera free-throws, Old Westbury scored 11 of the final 13 points of the half and limited the Mount to just one field goal over the closing stretch of the period.
Miles Calame hit a jumper to give the Knights a 40-32 lead with 2:04 left in the opening frame.
The Panthers answered with the final seven points of the half, including a Timothy Park three-pointer at the horn to send the two teams into the break with the Mount clinging to a slim 40-39 lead.
Mount Saint Mary shot an even 50.0-percent from the floor prior to halftime and went 3-for-11 from three-point range.
Old Westbury shot an efficient 55.6-percent and hit on five three-pointers.
Mount Saint Mary was led by nine points each from Cyran and Graham before the break.
Old Westbury received 10 first half points from Zachary Cummings.
Old Westbury came out of the break and took a 42-40 lead on another Park three-pointer just under 90 seconds into the second half.
Mount Saint Mary regained the lead for good in the game on a Barnett three-point play on the ensuing possession.
Chris Smith would bring the Panthers to within 45-44, but four straight free-throws from
Chris Yearwood spread the Mount’s lead back out to 49-44.
After the Panthers sliced the deficit back to a single point again, the Knights scored the next 10 points, including a pair of triples from Yearwood, to open a 59-48 advantage with 12:20 left to play.
The Knights pushed their lead to 67-51 on a Graham jumper with 8:01 left to play and kept the lead in double-figures the rest of the way.
A Matt Monaco free-throw in the final minute gave the Knights their largest lead of the game and the final 83-64 advantage.
Mount Saint Mary shot 44.8-percent from the floor in the second half, despite a 2-for-10 showing from three-point range.
Old Westbury was held to 8-for-30 shooting after halftime, including 1-for-12 from three-point range.
Yearwood scored 14 points after the break with Barnett adding 10.
Smith paced Old Westbury in the second half with eight points.
For The Knights
Barnett finished the day 7-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line on his way to the game-high point total. He matched the team-high with eight rebounds and led the team with four assists and two blocks.
Yearwood scored each of his 14 points after halftime on the strength of two three-pointers and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. He handed out three assists.
Graham went 3-for-5 from three-point range on his way to 13 points.
Figueroa contributed 12 points and eight rebounds to the winning effort.
Jayden Racca came off the bench to score 10 points and added three rebounds.
Cyran wrapped up the victory with nine points and six boards.
For The Panthers
Smith led the team with 11 points and totaled three rebounds and three assists.
Cummings finished with 10 points, all in the first half, and led all players with five assists.
Jordan Johnson-Rader hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds and chipped in six points.