Tonight was the 173rd meeting between the Mount and Loyola, and Knott Arena was rocking. The game opened with a three from Freshman Jonah Antonio to give the Mountaineers an early 3-0 lead. Early on in the first half, it looked as if the Mount was going to run away with this game. They were firing on all cylinders, especially Senior Junior Robinson. Junior played a huge role in the Mounts victory tonight, finishing with an amazing thirty-nine points and four assists. Before things got too out of hand Loyola called a timeout. After the break, Loyola would go on a run to end the half tied 38-38.
The second half was like two boxers exchanging left and right hooks. No team had a bigger lead than three points during the half, and midway through the second half things got a little physical. Loyola was implementing their full-court press and Junior Robinson seemed to be pushed to the ground. Obviously, Robinson and his teammates took exception to this, but what also added fuel to the fire, there was no call. Loyola’s Freshman guard Isiah Hart stood out during the half. He seemed to have an answer for Robinson, scoring twenty-six points with four assists. Coming down to the final minute of the half you could not tell who was going to win this game. Tied at 69 with five seconds left, Junior Robinson brings the ball up, dribbles left then right, pulls up and misses the shot. An already exciting game was heading to overtime.
For the Mountaineer fans, the first couple minutes of OT didn’t look too promising. With three minutes left in overtime, the Mount had yet to make a shot. Something clicked, and Junior Robinson took over the game. Making tough shots and consistently getting to the foul line, Junior put the Mount on his back. Loyola did not have an answer for the late surge from the Mountaineers. At times they seemed flustered and anxious. The Mount would seal the win with free throws from Junior Robinson, and the final score was 80-75 Mount Saint Mary’s.
The Mount improved their record to 3-5 on the young season, and their next matchup is against the University of Pittsburgh away on December 5. This will be a tough game for the Mount, but I do expect this to be their closet game against a power five conference opponent.