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January 15th, 2014

Knights Fall to No. 18 Purchase, 81-66

Knight Guard Donte Howell (2) drives to the basket as Justin Person (12) defends. The MSMC Knights lost to SUNY Panthers 81-66. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
NEWBURGH – Senior guard Donte Howell scored his 1,000th career point in the Royal and Black on a layup late in the first half of Thursday evening’s Skyline Conference matchup which saw the Mount Saint Mary College men’s basketball team (8-4, 4-1 Skyline) drop its first conference game of the season to No. 18 Purchase College (9-0, 4-0 Skyline) at the Kaplan Center. The loss halts the Knights’ winning streak at five games.

Howell entered Thursday’s contest with 996 career points in his collegiate career. He scored five points in the first half to surpass the 1,000-point mark. He went on to lead the Knights with 15 points on the evening. Senior guard Chris Pisciotta followed with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Senior guard Steve Phillips set a career mark with seven assists.

The 18th-ranked Panthers opened the game on a 13-1 run and never looked back. The Knights trailed by as many as 28 points in the first half, but went in the locker room down 23 by a score of 53-30. The Panthers took their largest lead of the game of 31 points at 79-48 with 5:06 to play, but the Knights put together their biggest rally of the game in the last five minutes. The home team went on an 18-2 run in the game’s final five minutes to cut the deficit to just 15 points at the final buzzer.

Purchase’s Joel Neri scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed nine boards in the process. David Haughton picked up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Person also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

Purchase shot 50.7 percent (34-of-67) from the field and 50 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc in the winning effort Thursday evening. The Knights made 33.8 percent (22-of-65) of their shots in the loss. The nationally-ranked Panthers outrebounded the Knights by a slim margin of 40-37.

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