Jen Mocanu cans shot at the buzzer to lift Mount St. Mary over Western, 60-58


DANBURY, CT (Dec. 6) — Senior Jen Mocanu (Belford, NJ) hit the game-winning shot as time expired to lift Mount St. Mary College over the Western Connecticut State University women’s basketball team, 60-58, in a non-conference match up Tuesday night at Feldman Arena.

Mocanu received a pass in the paint from Charneice McCullough (Wyandanch, NY), who pushed the ball the length of the court. As the horn sounded, Mocanu lifted the shot over the Western defense, and after a complete roll around the iron, the ball dropped through the net. A quick conference of the three officials confirmed the attempt was released before the red light appeared.

Junior Carly Murphy (Wolcott, CT) and sophomore Caroline Brasa (East Hartford, CT) led the Western offensive attack with 14 points each, and Muphy grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

For MSMC, Mocanu topped all scorers with 29 points, followed by Amanda Horvers (Kingston, NY) who contributed 12 points.

Mount St. Mary’s held Western scoreless over the first three minutes of play, taking a 5-0 lead on a jumper and a three-pointer by Mocanu. 

Sophomore Chelsea Mone (Bristol, CT) finally got the offense started for the Colonials with a jumper at the 16:29 mark, and Western battled back to take its first lead after a pair of free-throws by senior Stephanie Slonski (Griswold, CT) three minutes later. 

The score remained tight, and when the visitors went up by three, 24-21, with four minutes to play, Murphy hit a three that evened the score at 24-24.  

The Knights moved out to another three-point lead with one minute to play, but a Murphy free throw and a jumper by junior Nicole Eanniello (Danbury, CT) knotted the score at 29-29, the seventh tie over the first 20 minutes, going into the locker room at intermission.

Western's largest lead of four points, 35-31, came following a jumper by Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, NY) just 1:24 into the second stanza.

The Knights took back the lead, 45-44 when Amanda Horvers (Kingston, NY) with 10:41 left in the game. Their lead grew to nine points when Samantha Rizzo (Millbrook, NY) buried a lay in with 5:02 remaining.

The Colonials chipped away at the deficit then tied the game for the 10th and final time on a bucket in the paint from freshman Amber Litwinko (Kensington, CT).

Over the final 11 seconds, Western took three time outs then lost the ball under its own basket when the inbound pass rolled untouched over the sideline.

McCullogh and Mocanu provide the heroics over the final 5.1 seconds.

For the game, Western held a 40-32 advantage in rebounds, but committed 21 turnovers, compared to 13 for the Knights.

With the loss, Western falls to 7-1 on the season, while Mount St. Mary College now also stands at 7-1. 

The Colonials return to action on Saturday, December, 10, when they host Little East Conference rival Southern Maine at Feldman Arena.  Tip off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

Newspaper Box Score


Mocanu, Jen 12-25 4-5 29; Horvers, Amanda 5-10 0-0 12; Garbie, Natalie 3-7 2-2 8; Rizzo, Samantha 2-6 2-2 6; Metzger, Becky 1-4 0-0 2; Nieves, Kristina 1-1 0-0 2; Emerson, Jenna 0-1 1-2 1; Witte, Fallon 0-0 0-0 0; McCullough, Charneic 0-6 0-0 0; Candarelli, Natalie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-60 9-11 60.

Caroline Brasa 6-9 0-0 14; Carly Murphy 5-11 3-4 14; Nicole Eanniello 3-9 0-0 8; Stephanie Slonski 2-7 3-4 7; Chelsea Mone 3-4 0-0 7; Amber Litwinko 1-8 2-2 4; Sciarra Brandt 1-1 0-0 2; Jackie Zilnicki 1-6 0-0 2; Taylor Nkonoki 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 8-10 58.

Mount St. Mary (NY)...........   29   31  -   60
Western Connecticut...........   29   29  -   58

3-point goals--Mount St. Mary (NY) 3-16 (Horvers, Amanda 2-6; Mocanu, Jen 1-2; Rizzo, Samantha 0-2; Metzger, Becky 0-1; Emerson, Jenna 0-1; McCullough, Charneic 0-4), Western Connecticut 6-18 (Nicole Eanniello 2-7; Caroline Brasa 2-2; Carly Murphy 1-1; Chelsea Mone 1-2; Jackie Zilnicki 0-1; Amber Litwinko 0-3; Stephanie Slonski 0-2). Fouled out--Mount St. Mary (NY)-None, Western Connecticut-None. Rebounds--Mount St. Mary (NY) 32 (Metzger, Becky 6; McCullough, Charneic 6), Western Connecticut 40 (Carly Murphy 9). Assists--Mount St. Mary (NY) 15 (McCullough, Charneic 5), Western Connecticut 18 (Stephanie Slonski 5). Total fouls--Mount St. Mary (NY) 11, Western Connecticut 13. Technical fouls--Mount St. Mary (NY)-None, Western Connecticut-None. A-122. MSMC - Jen Mocanu hit game winner at the buzzer for the victory