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Strong second-half, late free throws lead Saints over Knights

Strong second-half, late free throws lead Saints over Knights

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University men's basketball team notched its second-straight victory on Saturday afternoon, holding on for a 69-66 win over Neumann University in Atlantic East Conference play at the Converse Family Fieldhouse.

The Knights jumped out to an early lead in the game and held a 15-10 edge after five minutes of play.

Sophomore Steve Etienne score a layup to spark an 11-0 run for the Saints. Junior Ibrahim Kamara scored seven points in the run, capping it with a three-point shot for a 21-15 lead.

The teams battled through a close first half, with neither able to grab much of an advantage. Neumann regained the lead and led 30-27 with less than four minutes to go in the half.

Following a timeout, freshman Xavier Reaves grabbed a steal, before throwing down a one-handed dunk to get back within one.

Kamara added a jumper in the closing minutes to retake a 31-30 advantage, and the Saints notched one more on a free throw from junior Taiga Walker to hold a two-point halftime lead.

At the break, Kamara and Etienne were leading the way with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while the team hit from over 42 percent from three in the half.

After Neumann tied the score out of halftime, Walker hit from long range to grab the lead again for the Saints, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the way.

The Knights continued to battle and keep the score close, but Marymount would begin to open up its advantage through the half.

Leading 41-40, a 13-6 run grabbed the Saints an eight-point edge. Junior Ryan Albert converted two layups to get the offense going, before capping the run with another.

Albert continued to have his way in the post, again scoring from close range to push the lead to 10, 58-48.

However, Neumann would not go away easy and began to chip away at the lead.

Marymount led 60-50, but a 16-7 run by the Knights had the Saints holding on by one with 11 seconds to go.

Junior LaDarius McCord came through with two clutch free throws to get the lead back to three, before Walker drew an offensive foul on the Knights to thwart the comeback attempt.

Etienne finished the game with 16 points to lead the team, while pulling down 13 rebounds to notch his fourth double-double of the year. Reaves added 13 points, while Albert and Kamara each finished with 11.

The Saints will take to the road for their next contest, taking on Gwynedd Mercy University in Atlantic East action on Wednesday, January 30; the opening tip is set for 8 p.m.