ho hum. Or almost. The Mount won for the 12th time in its last 14 games, defeating St. Francis NY 68-57 at Knott Arena on Thursday night. If my calculation is correct the win and the Monmouth loss to LIU wraps up an NEC playoff berth.
It wasn't really as close as the final score indicated, yet the Terriers did give the Mount fits for most of the first half. But from about the five minute remaining mark of the first half, until the time the Mount started to take the air out of the basketball, the Mounties looked like a team that couldn't be beaten. I think the Mount led 67-47 at one point, but it might have just been 65-47.
Kelly Beidler again was sensational. I'm going to guess he finished with 19 points and a little more than a handful of rebounds. He really was very, very good again tonight, both inside and out. He's finishing better around the basket, and his dropstep dunk late in the game was one of those moves that we don't see a lot of at this level.
Jeremy Goode was well, Jeremy Goode. He gave exactly what we've come to expect in his now nearly three years at the Mount. He seemed very sharp passing the ball tonight and he consistently beat his defender off the dribble and got into the lane creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. He scored seven early points and I'm going to say his final line probably had him around 16 points and six assists and a few steals. A fine night.
Shawn Atupem had a strong game inside and Markus Mitchell made some nice plays as well.
There were stretches in this game where this team looked as sharp as it has been in the last two to three weeks.
Jean Cajou missed most of the first half with two fouls, but he knocked down some jumpers in the second half, which was a very good sight to see. I would think he probably ended up in double figures as well. He also had a big rim rattling dunk.
That ends the praises.
The foul shooting was outright atrocious. The worst effort I've seen in awhile. It doesn't matter in games like tonight. But if the Mount wants to get back to the NCAA tournament, it will need to do a better job at the line. By my count they were 14-of-29 from the charity stripe. That makes an 11-point a 20-point game and a close game a loss.
But even more concerning was the student section. There just wasn't anybody there. The crowd in general was nice, but the studen section was non-existent. There is just one more regular season home game and likely two playoff games. The crowd needs to be a factor in all of that and it needs to be led by the student section. The one lone rowdy Mountie deserves some credit, but he needs a few friends. He shouldn't be running around the Knott Arena trying to get 60-year old (or older) men to say MOUNT U - if a Mountaineer makes a free throw. That is what the student section is for, and they aren't doing their job.
Monmouth on Saturday night. It's Valentines Day. So I don't think I'll get to see it.