Tuci's Career-High 25 Points Lead Manhattanville Past Mount St. Mary, 66-60

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PURCHASE, N.Y. – Junior Alex Tuci (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) scored 20 of his career-high 25 points in the second half and also added a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Manhattanville College men's basketball team to a 66-60 come-from-behind victory over Mount Saint Mary College on Tuesday night at Kennedy Gymnasium.
Tuci was a beast for Manhattanville (3-3) in the second half, hitting 7-of-10 shots from the field and nailing all four of his three-point attempts while also grabbing eight rebounds in just the final 20 minutes. He finished the night 9-of-15 from the field (5-of-7 from long distance) and chipped in a career-best four blocks, two assists and a steal as well in the victory.
Sophomore Willie Britton (Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) also reached double figures for the sixth straight game with 13 points, thanks in large part to a 7-of-10 effort from the line, to go with six boards. Junior Brian Haggerty(Bayside, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) corralled a career-best nine rebounds and classmate Dom Arena (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) dished out six assists and added six caroms as well for the home team.
Both teams shot exactly 37.3 percent (22 of 59) from the field on the evening and Manhattanville made only one more free throw, as the difference in the outcome came largely from beyond the arc. The Valiants hit seven of their 11 long-range attempts in the second half to finish the game 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) from downtown, while the Knights connected at a 27.8 percent (5 of 18) clip.
The first half featured two ties and five lead changes, the last of which came with 3:55 left on a Connor Bacci jumper that gave Mount Saint Mary a 24-23 lead. The Knights outscored the Valiants 18-9 over the next 5:28 to take their largest lead of the game at 40-32 with 17:47 remaining in the second half.
But Manhattanville stormed back with a huge 19-3 run over the next 9:09 to regain the momentum. Three straight layups from senior Charles Nardone (Stony Point, N.Y./North Rockland), Tuci and Britton cut the deficit to two. After a Bacci triple extended the lead back to five, the home team scored 13 straight points, beginning with a Tuci three-pointer and ending with a big trey from Haggerty that caromed high off the rim before fortuitously dropping through to make the score 51-43 with 8:38 on the clock.
The Knights got back within one possession on three occasions and all three times Tuci had the answer, hitting a pair of three-pointers and a layup before following with a huge three that put Manhattanville up 63-56 with 32 seconds left and sealed the Valiant victory.
Manhattanville will move on to arguably its toughest task of the season on Sunday at noon, when the Valiants take the short trip into the city to battle with Columbia University in Manhattanville's first game against a D-I opponent since 2004.