Friday, February 01, 2008

Truly Spectacular performance at the ARCC

Will Holland's banking three-pointer to open the contest should have been the first clue.

From that point forward the Mount was nothing short of spectacular as it drilled St. Francis of NY 97-60 at the Knott Arena in Northeast Conference play on Thursday evening.

The Mount scored 1.3 points a possesion and forced the offensive action as it got tremendous performances from just about everyone in the whitewash.

Sophomore guard Jeremy Goode led the way with 18 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.

The Mount shot the Terriers out of an early 2-3 zone, by hitting four three pointers in the first five possessions. Holland buried two in the run, while Chris Vann and Kelly Beidler each had a trifecta of their own.

Vann finished with 17, while Holland knocked in 16. Beidler added 14 in a tremendously effective performance. The sophomore made 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including two three-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and added a block and a steal in 29 minutes.

Also impressive was the play of freshman Shawn Atupem who notched career highs in both points and rebounds. He tallied 12 and 6 on the night. Atupem has had moments in his freshman season, but this was clearly his best all-around consistent effort of the season.

The Mount shot a sensational 58% and made 11-of-20 from long distance, while holding the Terriers to 34%.

The difference between this Mountaineer team and the team we saw in their last Knott Arena performance was the pace of the offense. Pushing the ball up the floor allows Goode to be at his best. He needs to be careful with his turnovers, and he did commit four, but the pace of the game makes this offense so much better. Playing like this it is hard to imagine them not being succesful against every Northeast Conference team.

The test will come tomorrow night against Robert Morris. The Colonials are a team that has apparently improved its defense and has a lot of offensive talent. It will be interesting to see RMC at Knott Arena for the first time under head coach Mike Rice.

There is a lot at stake in the Northeast Conference standings. Robert Morris is just a game out of the lead set by Wagner. The Mount is fighting to get a home playoff game. The Colonials are one of two teams the Mounties are closest to catching.

I expect an exciting game on Saturday evening. The Mount is playing well at the moment. They played well on the road trip last weekend, minus a poor first half shooting at Wagner, and they followed it up with the biggest win since the beatdown of Widener back in the first year at the D-1 level. Scary thing is, I remember taht Widener game. Robert Morris has been getting better all season.

It is homecoming night at the Mount, and there will be the bicentennial celebration. This has all the makings of a huge game. I can't wait for the tip.

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