FOUR DOLPHINS FINISH IN DOUBLE-FIGURES AS MEN’S BASKETBALL OPENS SEASON WITH 73-56 WIN AT PACE
Pleasantville, N.Y. – Four players scored in double-figures to lead the Le Moyne College men's basketball team to a 73-56 win over Pace University in the Northeast-10 Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night at the Goldstein Fitness Center.
Junior center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) led the Dolphins with 16 points, while adding four rebounds and three blocks. Junior forward Brian Zapisek (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) and sophomore guard Naté Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie/Quinnipiac) each registered 14 points, with Zapisek connecting on all three of his three-point attempts and Gause knocking down each of his four attempts from long-range. Senior guard Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) was the fourth Dolphin in double-digits with 11 points. Freshman forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) led the Dolphins with eight rebounds in his collegiate debut.
Denzel Primus-Devonish led the Setters in scoring with 16 points. Jaylen Mann tallied 11 points off the bench. Keon Williams led all players with 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
After Williams registered a three-point play to give the Setters a 3-2 lead at the 18:17 mark, the Dolphins rattled off seven straight points. Mohamed hit a jumper and then three-pointer from the right corner and then junior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) converted a pair of free throws.
Following a 6-0 run by the Setters that knotted the score at nine apiece, Le Moyne registered 13 of the next 16 points to take its first double-digit lead of the game. Zapisek started the run with a jumper and then Gause buried three three-pointers around a dunk by Janson.
Primus-Devonish nailed a three-pointer to get the Setters within seven, but the Dolphins followed with a 13-2 run to take a 35-17 advantage. Gause had a lay-up and a three-pointer in the span, Mohamed and Zapisek nailed three-pointers and Janson made a lay-up off a feed from Mahoney.
Following two free throws by Williams with 5:30 remaining in the half, the Dolphins posted eight straight points for their largest lead of the half. Janson had a pair of baskets in the paint, while senior guard Derrek Tartt (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick/UAlbany) made four free throws for a 43-19 lead.
The teams traded baskets over the final 2:03 of the stanza to go into the intermission with the Dolphins leading 47-23.
After the teams split the first 18 points of the second half over the opening 5:17, the Setters scored five straight points to cut their deficit below 20 for the first time in almost 10 minutes of game action. Zapisek had four of Le Moyne's opening nine points, while Williams and David Eismeier each had three points for the Setters. Primus-Devonish registered all five points in Pace's 5-0 spurt.
The teams then went back-and-forth over the next eight and one-half minutes, with Le Moyne's lead bouncing between 18 and 22 points. Mann had a pair of three-pointers in the stretch for the Setters, while five different players accounted for Le Moyne's 13 points.
After Mahoney hit a three-pointer to give the Dolphins a 69-48 advantage, the Setters tallied eight straight points to get within 13 points with 1:37 remaining. Mann hit a three-pointer to start the run, while Kai Smith made a free throw, Mann converted a lay-up and Primus-Devonish ended his team's scoring with two free throws.
Janson finished off an alley-oop from freshman guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) and Champion made two free throws to end the game's scoring.
Le Moyne (1-0, 1-0 NE-10), which won its season-opener for the first time since a 63-48 win at Caldwell in 2009, returns to action on Tuesday against The College of Saint Rose at 7:30 p.m. The game will mark the 10th contest in the year-long "Upstate Challenge" between the two institutions, which is currently tied, 3-3.