EMMITSBURG — Mount St. Mary’s rallied from an eight-point deficit to even the score in the final moments, but saw Wagner’s Alex Morales sink a pair of free throws with 5.1 seconds left before a last-ditch shot by Deandre Thomas bounced off the front of the rim at the buzzer, preserving the Seahawks’ 57-55 win Wednesday at Knott Arena.
It was Wagner’s seventh straight victory and the Mount’s second loss to the Seahawks in as many days.
Junior guard Damian Chong Qui scored the Mount’s final 12 points of the game en route to a team-high 18. But the Mountaineers fell to 8-9 overall and 7-6 in the Northeast Conference.
Wagner (8-5, 8-4) built a 51-43 advantage with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left on a Morales drive before the Mountaineers rallied behind the stellar play of Chong Qui.
He nailed a 3-pointer with 3:58 left to cut the deficit to five, and he added a second trey from the top of the key with 2:20 on the clock to make it a two-point game.
The Mount forced a turnover on the next possession, and Chong Qui was fouled with 1:41 on the clock. He sank both free throws to tie the score at 51-51.
Chong Qui evened the score again at 55-55 on a pull-up jumper with 13 seconds remaining.
Morales was then fouled on a drive, and he converted both ends of the one-and-one for a two-point Wagner lead with 5.1 seconds on the clock.
The Mountaineers inbounded to Deandre Thomas, who raced downcourt for a buzzer-beating shot in the paint that wouldn’t fall.
Chong Qui added six assists and four rebounds.
Thomas went 4-of-8 from 3-point range to finish with 12 points while chipping in four boards.
Nana Opoku tallied 10 points and five rebounds, while freshman Frantisek Barton had his best game in a Mount uniform with seven points, five boards and a pair of blocks.
Morales led all scorers with 20 points along with six rebounds and four assists to pace Wagner.
Wagner closed the first half with an 8-3 run to take a 30-22 advantage at the break. The Seahawks used consecutive 3-pointers from Delonnie Hunt and Elijah Allen to build their biggest lead of the game at 41-29 early in the second half.
The Mountaineers are back in action with a two-game series against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday and Sunday. Tip-off for both games is 2 p.m.