DAYTON, Ohio, SportingAlert — Junior Robinson scored 23 points, including 15 in a very energetic second half and Mount St Mary’s held on for a 67-66 victory over New Orleans in the NCAA Tournament First Four here in Dayton on Tuesday night.
The Mountaineers (20-15) will now travel to Buffalo, New York, to take on defending national champion and No. 1 overall tournament seed in the first round on Thursday night, March 16 at 7:10 PM ET.
Robinson, the smallest guy on any Division I roster in the country at 5-foot-5-inches, shot 9-for-14 from the floor on Tuesday in Mount St Mary’s second ever NCAA Tournament win.
The junior point guard, who played all 40 minutes, says he is excited about going up against the Villanova Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament East Regional later this week, as he and his teammates try to pull off the first upset of a top seed by a No. 16 seed.
Miles Wilson added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Mount St Mary’s, which shot 53.2 percent and scored 25 baskets on 14 assists.
The Mountaineers also shot 52.6 percent from 3-point range on 10-for-19 from long-range.
Nate Frye led the way for New Orleans (20-12) with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench.
“We started the engine on the car, and now the car is moving,” said Frye, who led New Orleans.
“We’ve got to pick up speed and keep building off what we did this year. We established the building blocks of what was broken down from Katrina.”
Erik Thomas ended with 12 points and eight rebounds and Travin Thibodeaux chipped in with 11 before being benched with 6:36 left in the game after he and Christavious Gill exchanged words, following a turnover and needed to be separated by a coach during a timeout.
“Unfortunately, it will take away a little bit from the experience of the game and how great of an experience this was for us,” coach Mark Slessinger said after the defeat.
The Privateers shot just under 54-percent from the field, but were only 1-for-9 from 3-pointers.
The Privateers have also dropped to 1-5 all-time in the tournament.