Rams Fall in Championship Game to Knights
Mount Saint Mary - 71, Farmingdale State - 50
NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Mount Saint Mary College junior Jen Mocanu (Belford, N.J.) scored a game-high 31 points to the lead the Knights to a 71-50 victory over Farmingdale State College in Saturday's Skyline Conference championship game. The Mount (25-2) earned its 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
A sloppy game for most of the first half, both teams heated up inside the final three minutes. The Knights closed the period on a 12-5 run and when Mocanu found junior Natalie Garbie (Bayville, N.J.) for a layup just in front of the buzzer, the Mount headed to the locker room with a 33-23 advantage.
Farmingdale closed to within five points in the opening minutes of the second half and back-to-back layups from junior Keona Jones (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made it 37-32 with 16:14 to play. The Mount would take control, however, with a 14-3 run during which Mocanu would score eight points. A jumper from junior Amanda Horvers (Kingston, N.Y.) at the 9:52 mark capped the run and made the score, 51-35.
After struggling a bit in the first half, Horvers heated up down the stretch, hitting four field goals inside a span of four minutes. With 6:33 remaining, sophomore Charneice McCullough (Wyandanch, N.Y.) found Horvers on the fast break and she drained a baseline jumper to push the lead to 19. On the ensuing possession, again on the fast break, McCullough hit Horvers wide open in the corner. The junior swished her three-point attempt to make the score, 63-41, putting away the Rams for good.
Mocanu hit on 13-of-23 from the field and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line for a season-high 31 points. Horvers was the only other Knight in double figures with 12 points, but the Knights also received strong performances from senior Jess Tice (Altamont, N.Y.) and sophomore Kate Hartnett (Floral Park, N.Y.). Tice totaled eight points and 10 rebounds, while Hartnett added nine points and nine boards. McCullough also turned in a nice stat line with five points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Jones led Farmingdale with 16 points on 8-of-11 from the field. The rest of the team struggled, however, combining to shoot just 25.9-percent from the floor. Adding to their woes, the Rams made just 2-of-11 attempts from the free throw line.
The Knights, who connected at 49.2-percent for the contest, held a small advantage on the glass, 41-38. They finished 9-of-12 at the line.
Mocanu, who scored a game-high 24 points in Thursday's semifinal, was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Headed to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th year in a row, the Knights will learn their opponent and destination on Monday. The tournament selection show is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
(Release from Mount Saint Mary College)