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Title Game Recap
Arena security apparently required both Mount St. Mary’s and host Robert Morris to leave their defenses at the door, because both teams were shooting over 50 percent from the field until the final minutes of an 88-71 romp for the Mountaineers.
The top-seeded Colonials got 21 points from Karvel Anderson, but it wasn’t enough to survive a balanced Mountaineers attack that featured five scorers in double figures (led by Rashad Whack's 20).
With Mount St. Mary’s hitting eight of its 18 three-point tries, the No. 4-seeded underdogs took over early and never looked back. Sam Prescott also added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists in the rout.
Mount St. Mary's head coach Jamion Christian was quoted by the AP after the game about his team's effort:
''You saw a team really connected, and really doing whatever they could to win a championship,''
Prescott said that the victory was a result of the team's hard work, per the same report:
''Every day, we challenge ourselves to get better. And this is the result - a championship.''
Season in Review
Like most of its NEC rivals, Mount St. Mary’s suffered through a painful non-conference season, with the Mountaineers losing their first five games against a group of opponents ranging from Villanova to Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Their best non-league win, such as it was, came in a home defeat of American University (which finished 19-12).
NEC action improved the team’s fortunes, but not much, as it went an unimpressive 9-7 to end up (with the conference tourney championship) at .500 for the season.
The win over Robert Morris in the title game was the first in three tries for Mount St. Mary’s, which had lost by eight points in each of the regular-season meetings with the Colonials.
NCAA Tournament Projection
As the fourth-best team in a weak conference, Mount St. Mary’s seems destined for a No. 16 seed, and quite possibly a First Four trip (where they could certainly beat one of their fellow 16s with another hot shooting night).
There’s no arguing with the momentum the Mountaineers can bring after a strong conference tourney—and four straight wins overall—but with a defense that hasn’t even been able to contain NEC offenses, it’s hard to see them having much of a chance at upsetting a higher seed.
March Madness Fact
Would-be 2014-15 contenders should be lining up to face the Mountaineers in the round of 64. In each of their three previous trips to March Madness, they’ve lost to the team that would go on to win the following season’s national title (Kentucky in 1995, Michigan State in 1999, North Carolina in 2008).
Update by Thad Novak