MU men keep playoff hopes alive with win at Bloomsburg
Chuck Harper scored four of his game-high 19 points over the final fifty seconds of the game to lift Mansfield to a critical 73-66 win over Bloomsburg in a PSAC East contest Wednesday night.
The victory was the Mountaineers first road win over a PSAC East foe of the season and breathed life into Mansfield PSAC playoff hopes with two games remaining in the regular season.
Mansfield scored the first points of the night on a layup by Kevonte McClain but Bloomsburg would use a 17-7 first half rebounding advantage to take a 34-27 lead before Charles Becoats hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in the half to cut the margin to 34-30 at halftime.
The two teams battled back and forth for much of a second half that featured nine ties and 11 lead changes.
Mansfield opened the half with a 6-0 run, taking a 36-34 lead on a jumper by Harper less than two minutes into the half.
Bloomsburg countered with an 11-3 run over the next three minutes to regain the lead to go ahead 45-39 on a layup by Armand Leaks.
Mansfield chipped away, using a 6-0 run to retake the lead 46-45 on a 3-pointer by Onyema Utti with just under 13 minutes to go.
Both teams traded the lead down the stretch before Mansfield tied the game at 61-61 with just under five minutes to play when Joe Bell hit the first of two free throws to spark a 6-0 run. Freshman Kamil Parzych capped off the run, giving the Mountaineers a 67-61 lead with a 3-pointer at the 2:51 mark.
With just under a minute to go, Bloomsburg pulled to 69-66 before Harper put on a show. The senior started it off with a thunderous breakaway dunk followed by a key rebound and then hit two free throws before pulling down another rebound to seal the win.
Harper connected on 7-10 from the floor, including 2-of-4 3-pointers in scoring his 19 points. Charles Becoats added 15 points with Kevonte McClain scoring 13 points and Joe Bell 11.
Bloomsburg got 19 points from Wes Lyons and 15 points each from Daniel Kusnyer and Lorenzo Christmas.