- Jack Bowman
Mount Men’s Basketball Bounces Back Big Against Washington College
After a tough season-opening loss to powerhouse Villanova, the Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team bounced back with a big win ending in a score of 117-62 against Washington College.
Point guard Jalen Benjamin, playing in his first home game since transferring from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led the way with 20 points and seven assists shooting 7-10 from the field, including 6-9 from three. Senior forward Malik Jefferson played a significant role in the win, finishing 8-8 on the night with 16 points.
“It meant a lot,” Benjamin said of the blowout win. “Seeing the atmosphere and the fanbase, it seems like our fans are really behind us. We want to do something this year.”
On the offensive end, Mount put on one of the best performances in program history. The 117 points they scored represent the most they have scored at Knott Arena since 1995, and the most points the team has scored since moving to Division One.
Despite the dominant result, head coach Dan Engelstad saw room for improvement, specifically on the defensive end.
“We want to be an elite defensive team,” Engelstad said, “and we were anything but that in the first half.” Specifically, Engelstad mentioned a failure to keep Washington College out of the paint, despite Mount Saint Mary’s considerable size advantage.
In the first half, the Mount allowed Washington College to shoot 66.7% from the floor, scoring 40 points before the break. It was clear that defense was the focus coming out of halftime, as Washington College managed just 22 points on 19.4% shooting for the remainder of the game.
The team will be looking to build off this dominant win, for they intend to defend their conference title throughout the season and make a run at another NEC title.
The Mount men’s basketball team will be in action again on Nov. 13 against Saint Joseph’s, and then again on Nov. 16 against the Kentucky Wildcats, who are ranked 13th in the nation. Their next home game will be Nov. 27 against Navy.