EMMITSBURG, Md. – Mount St. Mary’s defeated Morgan State on Saturday 74-60 thanks to a balanced effort and 22 points from the bench.
“I was proud of their effort and compete level,” said Mount head coach, Dan Engelstad. “We expect to play hard every night and come up with energy and effort plays and feed off of and play for each other, and I thought they did that very well tonight.”
Engelstad’s squad lead by a score of 36-30 at the half, a lead that would be challenged in the second half on multiple occasions, including when Bears guard, Malik Miller, converted a Mount turnover to cut the lead to 46-45 with 13:03 left in the game.
In games past, that would be a turning point in the game, with the Mountaineers surrendering a lead to their opponent’s second half momentum, but on Saturday, they responded with a 18-4 run that ultimately secured them the win.
Turnovers remained a problem for the blue and white, who were in gold uniforms on Saturday, as they committed 19 of them, of which, the Bears converted for 16 points.
But one thing that made a noticeable difference, that might not necessarily show up on the stat sheet, was chemistry. The Mountaineers seemed much for in sync than in games past.
“I’m proud of the 18 assists,” said Engelstad. “I think when the ball is moving, and we’re sharing the ball, and we’re getting out in transition, we are a really good basketball team.”
Jalen Benjamin lead all scorers with 17 points and eight assists while fellow starters, Mezzie Offurum and Nana Opoku, put up double figures as well. Offurum had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and brought down six rebounds, while Opoku had 11 points, six rebounds and five blocks.
The Mount got 13 points off the of the bench from Jaylin Gibson, while sophomore, Dakota Leffew, saw over 31 minutes of playing time off the bench, finishing with a line of nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.
With Saturday’s win over Morgan State, the Mount improves to 4-8 on the season with one more game remaining in non-conference play.