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February 5th, 2014

MSMC Basketball’s Winning Streak Reaches Seven

Knight Guard Donte Howell (2) scored 11 points and dished out a team-high five assists against St. Joseph’s (L.I.) on Saturday, February 1, 2014 in the Kaplan Center. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
By David Spiegel

NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College men’s basketball team (15-4, 11-1 Skyline) improved their season-long winning streak to seven games on Saturday with a 77-51 Skyline Conference victory over St. Joseph’s College (L.I.) (4-14, 3-8 Skyline) in front of the Kaplan Center’s biggest crowd of the season with over 500 fans in the stands.

Senior forward Chris Pisciotta added to the hottest stretch of his collegiate career with 18 points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s win. He is averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game over the Knights’ last five contests.

The game got off to a very slow pace, as just 19 points were scored by both teams combined through the first eight minutes. At this point, the Knights went on a 21-5 stretch to take a 31-14 lead at the 4:05 mark. They followed this up with an 11-3 run to close out the half and take a 42-17 advantage into the locker room.

The home team held tight to its large lead in the second stanza, with 10 different Knight men providing points in the closing half. Senior forward Joe Henain pulled down seven of his nine rebounds in the second half, adding five points. 16-of-20 shooting from the charity stripe in the second half provided the insurance for the Knights down the stretch.

Senior guard Donte Howell added 11 points for the Knights and dished out a team-high five assists on the afternoon. Senior guard Anthony Cipriano joins Pisciotta and Howell in the double-digit club with 10 points. Freshman forward Alex Smith provided a nice boost off the bench with nine points and four boards.

The Knights shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the field on Saturday, including 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc. They also made 25-of-31 (80.6 percent) of their free throws, their second highest rate of the season. The Knights outrebounded their guests by an astounding 45-25 difference, including 13 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second-chance points. The Knights dominated the paint as well to the tune of a 32-18 scoring differential.

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