GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. - The Marymount University men's basketball team made it three-straight victories in Atlantic East Conference play on Wednesday night, tackling Gwynedd Mercy University in a key matchup, 74-61.
Falling at home in the first half of league play against the Griffins, the Saints traveled up to Pennsylvania to return the favor, building up a double-digit lead in the first half and never looking back, as they shot 50 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from deep. Leading the way was junior Steve Etienne with a career-high 23 points.
The more impressive statistics were on the defensive side of the ball, as the Saints held the Griffins' top three contributors to single-digit performances. Courtney Cubbage, who went off for a career-high 29 points in the first meeting, was held to nine points, while Rich Dunham and Clayton Wolfe were held to six and two points, respectively. As a team, the Saints forced the Griffins into 16 turnovers, including nine steals, while converting 22 points off the GMU mistakes.
It was a back-and-forth battle out the gates, as GMU had the lead for a chunk of the first half before the Saints hit a run late to grab a double-digit lead. With 5:30 left until the break, Etienne ignited a 10-point stretch with a layup, while he finished with eight of the 10 points. The run brought the Saints to its largest lead of the half of 12 at 31-19.
Although the Griffins cut their deficit to three at the half, Etienne opened the second half with a layup to get the Saints back on track. The score remained tight for some time in the second half, but the Saints never gave up the advantage the rest of the way, eventually building up to an 18-point lead, the largest of the game with 2:57 left in the game.
Beyond Etienne's career night, juniors LaDarius McCord and Ryan Albert each contributed double-digit scoring performances with 13 and 11, respectively, while freshman Xavier Reaves missed another double-double by one point with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Roey Stern sent out a team-high four assists, while Etienne added a game-high three steals.
The Saints will look to move their win streak to four games on Saturday, February 2, as they return home to host Immaculata University in the Converse Family Fieldhouse. Start time is set for 3 p.m.