By Justin Satkowski
PURCHASE - Purchase College overcame an 11-point first half deficit to defeat Mount Saint Mary College, 57-48, in a Skyline Conference Tournament semifinal game on Thursday.
The score was tied at 9-9 when Mount senior Lenny Ragaglia heated up. The senior hit four three-pointers in a span of a little more than three minutes as part of a 14-3 run for the Knights. When a jumper from junior Joe Henain went down at the 10:04 mark, the Knights led 23-12.
The offense would dry up quickly for the Knights, however. Purchase closed the period on a 12-3 run to trail, 26-24, at the break.
Ragaglia’s fifth three of the night at the 12:42 mark of the second half pushed the Mount advantage back to five at 38-33, but the Panthers answered with a 7-0 run to seize a 40-38 lead.
Mount junior Donte Howell hit a pair of free throws at the 6:50 mark to tie the game at 42 apiece. Purchase scored eight of the next nine points and a jumper from junior David Haughton made it 50-43, Panthers.
The Knights answered with the next five. Junior Joe Stabach completed an old-fashioned three-point play and a pair of Howell free throws cut the margin to two at 50-48.
The Knights forced a miss from Purchase senior Craig Davis, but Davis collected his own rebound and finished to push the lead to four. The Mount then missed several opportunities to cut into the lead.
Ragaglia led MSMC with 15 points on five threes. Howell added 12 points, four assists, and five steals. Henain totaled nine points and 10 rebounds.
Nixon led Purchase with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Haughton added 10 points and seven boards.