The Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers ended Quinnipiac’s eight-game winning streak and ousted the Bobcats from first place in the Northeast Conference on Saturday night with a 61-56 win at Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md.
The Bobcats (14-7, 8-2 NEC) had kept pace with Robert Morris (14-8, 9-1) for the top spot in the NEC all season until Saturday when the Colonials dispatched St. Francis (N.Y.).
Quinnipiac could not overcome an extremely poor shooting night as they went 19-for-58 from the field as a team (32.8 percent), including just 1-for-6 from beyond the arc (16.7 percent).
Junior forward Justin Rutty collected his 21st career double-double — a Quinnipiac Division I record — with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Junior guard Deontay Twyman provided a late spark off the bench with 13 points in 26 minutes of action. Twyman hit Quinnipiac’s only 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining, but still trailed by five and only got one point closer after Twyman’s two free throws.
Mount St. Mary’s ran out of the gates to a 9-4 start and never looked back. In fact, the Mountaineers never trailed during the game. and went up by as many as 11 at the 7:55 mark in the second half.
After trailing by 11 midway through the second half, the Bobcats quickly responded with an 8-0 run to cut the Mountaineer lead to two with 4:52 left in the ball game. But that’s as close as they got, as they only converted on two field goals the rest of the game.
Forward Shawn Atupem scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead the Mountaineers. The only other player in double figures for The Mount was guard Jean Cajou, who contributed 11 points and seven boards.
The Bobcats will head down the Merrit Parkway this Thursday when they play in-state rival Sacred Heart. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m. at the William H. Pitt Center. The Bobcats and Pioneers will go at it again on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center.