Men’s Basketball Drops Final Two Games

The men’s basketball team lost their final two games of the season this weekend after falling to Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner. The Hawks ended their season with a 10-21 re­cord while going 5-13 in Northeast Conference (NEC) play.

Mount St. Mary’s (16-13, 11-7) (MSM) defeated the Hawks 77-63 Thursday night as Shivaughn Wig­gins scored a game-high 16 points for the Mountaineers.

“I take my hat off to Jamion (Chris­tian) and the Mount team,” said Head Coach King Rice. “We were able to play with them for twenty minutes and then they just totally manhandled us, wore us down, and did everything they wanted to do in the second half.”

The Mountaineers took the lead early in the game with a quick 8-0 run in the first few minutes, and eventual­ly led 25-16 midway through the first half. MU then went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead 25-23 with a three-point basket from Christian White followed by back-to-back buckets from Tyron O’Garro. The Hawks were able to tie the game at 26 when senior guard Ste­phen Spinella converted a three-point play with 8:45 remaining in the half.

Four quick points from Raven Bar­ber and Wiggins allowed Mount St. Mary’s to retake the lead, but a three-pointer from Jesse Steele and a driv­ing score from Dion Nesmith gave the Hawks their first lead of the game 31- 30 with just over five minutes remain­ing. The two teams eventually headed into the half knotted up at 35 a piece.

The Hawks were able to gain an early advantage 38-37 in the second half with a layup from Ed Waite, but the Mountaineers answered with an 8-0 run in less than two minutes of play to take a 45-38 lead.

MU fought back to within one point after a fast-break score from Max DiLeo made the score 46-45. The game remained close until mid­way through the second half when the Mountaineers pulled away due to a 20-7 run, behind timely three-point shooting from Rashad Whack and Kelvin Parker, to expand their lead to 76-57 with just under five minutes remaining.

MU wasn’t able to mount a serious threat for the rest of the game as MSM slowed the ball down and controlled the clock to seal the 14-point victory.

“They got a long bench, and in the second half they just kept coming and kept coming,” said Rice. “They keep coming, we stopped coming, and it’s unfortunate.”

Along with Wiggins’ 16 points, Julian Northfleet and Parker lead the Mountaineers with 14 and 13 points each, respectively, while North­fleet dealt out five assists and Parker grabbed seven rebounds.

Waite led the Hawks with 15 points with DiLeo right behind him with a career-high of 12. O’Garro also re­corded a career-high 11 rebounds while DiLeo, who was a sparkplug all game, managed another career-high with 5 steals.

As a team, MU shot 22-59 from the field while going 16-22 from the from the free throw line.

The Hawks then fell to Wagner in their final game of the season on Saturday by a score of 67-57. Se­nior Jonathon Williams recorded a double-double and led the Seahawks with 21 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 8-11 from the field.

“I take my hat off to Wagner. Ken­ny Ortiz just controlled the whole tempo of the game,” Rice said. “We were turning it over more than they were, and I give them a lot of credit.”

Steele got off to a quick start, as he knocked down a mid-range jumper and a three-pointer less than three minutes into the game. Gary Cox also converted 2 free throws and Dion Ne­smith tipped-in a missed shot to give the Hawks a 9-5 lead.

Williams then lead Wagner back with six quick points while Dwaun Anderson hit a 10-foot floater to give the Seahawks a 14-9 lead with 9:08 remaining in the first half.

The Hawks fought back to within one with three-point plays from Mar­cus Ware and Spinella. Jalen Palm then took over as he scored nine of ten MU points to give his team a 27-26 lead with 2:30 remaining in the half.

Wagner fought back with a 9-2 run capped off by a last second three from Ortiz to take a 35-28 lead heading into the half.

The Hawks were able to cut the lead to five with baskets by O’Garro, Steele and Waite with 12:39 left in the second, but scores from Mario Moody, Anderson, Williams and Josh Thompson increased the Seahawks lead to 12.

Waite tried to get the Hawks back in it with six straight points that made the score 56-50 with 2:22 remaining, but Williams converted a three-point play to kill all momentum. Wagner then hit six-of-six from the free throw line to seal the game and come away with the victory.

Palm had a big game for the Hawks as he scored 12 points in only six min­utes of playing time.

“I really owed it to my teammates and coaches,” Palm stated. “I wanted to go out there and do it for my se­niors.”

Steele was right behind Palm scor­ing 11 points and Waite recorded a double-double as he dropped in ten points while grabbing ten rebounds.

The loss came on Senior Night and marked the end of Gary Cox, Jesse Steele, and Ed Waite’s MU careers.

“My seniors worked extremely hard for the time that they’ve been here,” Rice stated. “It really feels bad when you lose on Senior Day. Those young men gave everything that they could today, and we just didn’t have enough to get the W.”

Steele has scored 970 career points, 31 coming in his time at Army, and also dished out 191 assists. Waite ends his career tied for third in games played, 124. Waite also scored 1,045 points and grabbed 658 rebounds dur­ing his tenure with the Hawks.

The game also marks the end of MU’s run in the NEC. The Hawks won 261 games and had an overall winning percentage of 53.4% during their tenure in the conference.

MU will compete in the Metro At­lantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) starting next season.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography