Mount Knights Drop Close Contest to Scarlet Raiders

By D.J. Bevivino

NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Knights (2-8) battled valiantly but ultimately fell 67-59 to the Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders (6-6) in a non-conference matchup at the Kaplan Center on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the final score, Coach Ryan Kadlubowski praised his team’s effort, saying, “We played hard and with a lot of energy. They are a very good defensive team and forced some key turnovers at the end of the game that we couldn’t overcome.”

The Knights were led by a dynamic duo in the backcourt. Connor Cyran (14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal) put on a scoring clinic, slashing his way to the basket and knocking down a pair of key free throws down the stretch. Jayden Figueroa (13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) provided a spark from beyond the arc, draining two three-pointers to keep the Knights within striking distance.

Brenden Graham (5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) chipped in with some valuable hustle plays, while Justin Rivera (7 points, 3 rebounds) provided some much-needed interior scoring. The bench also contributed key minutes, with Jayden Racca (5 points, 2 rebounds) and Miles Calame (3 points, 4 rebounds) providing energy and hustle.

However, the Knights struggled to contain the Scarlet Raiders’ Levi Holton (36 points, 7 rebounds), who was nearly unstoppable from inside the paint. Rutgers-Newark also capitalized on 10 Mount Saint Mary turnovers, converting them into 22 points on the other end.

The game was a see-saw affair throughout, with both teams trading the lead several times. The Knights even held a small advantage early in the second half, but the Scarlet Raiders eventually pulled away thanks to their relentless defense and Holton’s offensive momentum.

Despite the loss, there were several bright spots for the Knights. They showed their resilience and fighting spirit against a tough opponent. They also received contributions from various players throughout the game, demonstrating their depth and potential.

The Knights will look to bounce back next Friday, December 29th, when they travel to St. Petersburg, Florida, to take on Alma College at 3:00 PM.

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