Mount St. Mary's wins 2014 Northeast Conference basketball tournament

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineers finished their surprising run in the NEC tournament, knocking off Robert Morris, 88-71, to punch their ticket to the big dance.

Another No. 1 seed went down in conference tournament action. The Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers blew out the Robert Morris Colonials, 88-71, to win the Northeast Conference tournament and clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It's the fourth tournament appearance in school history and the Mountaineers' first since 2008.

Mount St. Mary's got off to a blistering start, racing out to a 20-point lead in the first half. The Mountaineers were led by the hot hands of Julian Norfleet and Will Miller, who drained a combined 6-of-8 three pointers. Robert Morris rallied somewhat towards the end of the half, but they couldn't get the deficit below double digits. The Mountaineers took a commanding 48-32 lead into halftime, shooting 69.2 percent from the floor.

The Colonials used an 8-0 run to try getting back into things in the second half, but the Mountaineers were able to keep them at arm's length, never once trailing in the game. Five Mount St. Mary's players scored in double figures, and Rashad Whack led the way with 20. Karvel Anderson led the Colonials with 21 points.

Robert Morris stormed to the NEC regular season championship with a 14-2 conference record, but with an RPI of just 121, they'll have to settle for an NIT berth. The 16-16 Mountaineers are just the sixth team to reach the dance with an exact .500 record. In all likelihood, the selection committee will send them to Dayton for the First Four round.

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