EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Mount St. Mary’s defeated Central Connecticut on Sunday 65-50 in what was the team’s third straight win.
“We got the job done of getting the results,” said head coach Dan Engelstad after the game. “The way we played today…we need to tighten it up.”
Though the Mountaineers had an 11 point lead at the break, the blue and white missed on early opportunities, committing nine turnovers in the first half alone, and then matched that in the second half to finish the game with 18 turnovers that the Blue Devils capitalized on for 13 points.
“Today I just thought we were sloppy with the basketball,” said Engelstad. “We’re turning the ball over too much. We’re shooting the ball at such a high percentage that when we’re able to generate a shot, and able to not turn the basketball over, we have a really good offense.”
Mount currently has the second highest field goal percentage (.448) in the NEC behind Wagner and is second to none from beyond the arc (.368).
Against Central Connecticut, Mount went with a four guard lineup which Engelstad used to show off Mount’s guard play and depth. Six players saw over 24 minutes on the court, with the next three off the bench, on average, seeing over 10 minutes of playing time.
Mezie Offurum, who led the Mount in scoring for the second straight game with 14 points and eight rebounds, was moved to the four spot where typically, even though at 6’8, he plays a small forward position.
“It’s the flexibility of our team. Mezie is a match up nightmare for a lot of fours and forwards in, not just our conference, but all over the place. He had some nice plays today and it’s nice to have a versatile piece like Mezie.”
“I don’t mind [the four spot],” said Offurum. “I was able to get more rebounds because I’m right there around the bucket [and was] just able to hold it down there in the middle. I’m able to be anchor on defense because I’m able to see what’s happening behind our guards. So I don’t mind wherever I’m at. I just liked to be placed wherever gives my team the best opportunity to win.”
Sophomore guard Dakota Leffew saw over 26 minutes off the bench and was Mount’s second leading scorer with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. He was responsible for a third of the Mountaineers’ three pointers on Sunday connecting for 3-6 from deep.
Deandre Thomas was perfect from three point range going 3-3, and finishing the day with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
“We’re really starting to play together and moving the ball to really not care who’s getting the shot,” said Thomas. “Once we started to move the ball around and making people having to attack in 2-1 situations, it’s a lot easier to make shots when you’re not forcing them.”
Mount is now 4-4 in conference play after having to forfeit it’s first to conference games due to COVID.
Another note from Sunday: Malik Jefferson was not in the lineup due to “illness.” Mount says they hope and expect him to be back soon.
Mount St. Mary’s now heads on the road to play Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.