Rashad Whack scored 20 points as one of five players to reach double figures as the Mountaineers cruised past the top-seeded Colonials to earn an NCAA Tournament bid by capturing the Northeast Conference championship game in Moon Township, Pa. Julian Norfleet registered 17 points and Taylor Danaher and Sam Prescott totaled 15 apiece for fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary's (16-16), which captured its fourth NEC title and first since 2008. Will Miller chipped in with 11 points in a reserve role for the Mountaineers, including 3-of-4 3-pointers. Karvel Anderson's 21 points led the offense for Robert Morris (21-13), which fell short of capturing a record eighth NEC Tournament title. Lucky Jones added 11 points and five rebounds and Charles Oliver contributed 11 points off the bench for the Colonials, who couldn't get on track from long range, shooting 31.2 percent from behind the arc. The Mountaineers used the long ball early to take control of the game, knocking down 6-of-9 from beyond the arc as part of a 69.2 percent shooting performance in the first half on the way to a 48-32 lead at halftime. Norfleet paced the offense in the opening 20 for Mount St. Mary's, compiling 14 points, including 3-of-5 3-pointers, by intermission, while Danaher and Miller each shot 4-of-4 from the field and notched 11 points at the break. After Mount St. Mary's pushed its lead to 57-39 just over five minutes into the second half, Robert Morris rolled off eight straight points to trim the deficit to 10 but Whack answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 15-7 spurt as the Mountaineers opened up a 72-54 advantage with 8:35 remaining. The Colonials were able to creep within 14 on four consecutive points from Oliver with 5:30 to go but Whack and Byron Ashe accounted for seven points in the 9-2 run that answered to put the game away for Mount St. Mary's. GAME NOTEBOOK: Four of the Mountaineers' last five wins against Robert Morris have come in NEC Tournament games at the Sewall Center. ... The Colonials had held 10 consecutive opponents to 70 points or less coming into the game, recording a 9-1 record in that span. ... Mount St. Mary's became just the sixth team all-time to earn an NCAA Tournament berth with a .500 record.
Mount St. Mary's 88, Robert Morris 71
ProSportsDaily | Mar 12