NEWBURGH – Ryan Graham hit a three-pointer with 1:55 left in regulation to give the Knights the lead for good and Connor Cyran scored a game-high 17 points as the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team took the season series from Purchase on Wednesday night following a 62-58 victory at the Kaplan Center.
Wednesday’s victory moves the Mount to 8-14 overall on the season and 5-8 in conference play and following play tonight gives it the final berth in the Skyline Conference Championship with three games to play. Purchase falls to 8-14 and 3-10 in league action following Wednesday’s loss.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the early going before Jayden Figueroa started a 7-0 run for the Knights with a layup. Following a triple from Figueroa and a Cyran bucket, the Mount led 10-5 just under four minutes into the contest.
The Knights maintained the advantage and pushed it to 17-10 following a Justin Rivera free-throw just past the midway point of the half.
A Cyran layup matched the Knights’ half-high advantage when he pushed them in front 19-12 with 9:03 left before halftime.
The Knights would move their advantage to seven points for a third time on a Figueroa bucket that made the score 23-16 with 5:41 left in the opening period.
Purchase cut its disadvantage to three points twice late in the half, including on a Josiah Nelson jumper with 2:03 left that pulled the Panthers to within 25-22.
Miles Calame came back for the Knights with a put back in the final half minute of the first half to give the Knights the 27-22 halftime advantage.
Mount Saint Mary converted at 32.4-percent overall in the first half and went 1-for-8 from three-point range.
Purchase shot 45.0-percent, but made two fewer field goals than the Knights, and hit on two triples before halftime.
Cyran and Figueroa led the way for the Mount with 10 points apiece.
Three Panthers scored four points before halftime to lead the team in scoring.
The Knights came out of halftime with the first five points, including buckets from Rivera and Figueroa, to grab a game-high 32-22 advantage.
Purchase answered with the next 10 points, capped by an Elijah Holmes three-pointer to knot the score at 32-22 with 14:51 left to play.
Following a Matthew Walsh free-throw that gave the Mount a 33-32 lead, Purchase used back-to-back triples from Holmes and Wesley Fulcher to grab a 38-33 lead at the 13:14 mark of the second half.
Isaac Johnson later converted a layup to match the Panthers’ game-high advantage of five points with 12:24 left to play.
Purchase maintained the lead until a Jayden Racca triple with 9:55 left in the second half knotted the score at 40-40.
The Knights would move back in front 42-40 on a R. Graham bucket and pushed their lead to 45-41 on a three-point play from Cyran with 6:41 remaining.
A Brenden Graham triple moved the Knights in front 52-46 before seven straight points from Purchase gave it the lead late in regulation time.
Trey Skeete hit a triple to cut the Knights’ lead to 52-51 before a pair of Johnson free-throws gave the Panthers a 53-52 advantage with 2:19 left to play.
Coming out of a timeout, R. Graham drained a triple from the top of the key with 1:55 left to play, giving the Knights a 55-53 advantage.
The Knights would not trail again after the Graham trey and hit on five free-throws down the stretch to score the final four-point victory.
The Knights improved to 41.7-percent shooting in the second half and went 3-for-10 from long range.
Purchase cooled to 35.7-percent shooting from the field, but connected on six second half three-pointers.
Cyran and R. Graham led the second half scoring attack with seven points apiece.
Holmes scored 13 points after the break for Purchase.
For The Knights
Cyran finished 7-for-14 from the floor on his way to the game-high point total, adding seven rebounds.
Figueroa closed a double-double with 14 points to go along with game-highs in rebounds with 11 and blocks with five.
R. Graham totaled seven points, two assists and a game-high four steals.
B. Graham tallied six points and led the team with three assists.
Rivera totaled six points and swiped three steals in his second career start.
For The Panthers
Holmes was the lone player to score in double-figures for the Panthers, finishing with 16 points on the strength of four three-pointers.
Jalen Bartley led the team with eight rebounds.
Johnson rounded out the night with nine points, five rebounds and two assists.