December 8, 2012

MEN’S BASKETBALL DOWNS ADELPHI, 62-55, BEHIND CHAMPION’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE

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Syracuse, N.Y. – Junior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) registered a double-double to lead the Le Moyne College men's basketball team to a 62-55 win over Adelphi University on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Champion scored 11 points and dished out a season-best 10 assists to record his first double-double of the season and the fourth of his career. Junior forward Brian Zapisek (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) and sophomore guard Naté Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie/Quinnipiac) each scored 12 points, while Zapisek had five rebounds and Gause pulled down four. Junior center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) was the fourth Dolphin in double digits with 10 points.

Adelphi was led in the scoring column by John Calarco, who scored a game-best 16 points. Ryan DeNicola came off the bench to record 11 points.

The teams played within four points of each other over each of the first half's 20 minutes. The score was tied seven times and the lead changed sides eight times.

After Bradley Simpson made a lay-up with 9:31 left in the half, the Dolphins scored six straight points to take their largest lead of the half (20-16) with 7:31 to go. Janson made a lay-up off a feed from Champion, who followed with a jumper for the lead, while Zapisek knocked down a jumper for the four-point lead.

Le Moyne's next four points came off dunks by Gause. He slammed down a missed a three-pointer with 5:10 left for a 22-18 lead, while finishing off an alley-oop from Champion in transition with 3:04 to go.

After a Janson free throw put the Dolphins up 25-21 with 2:23 left, Anthony Libroia drilled back-to-back three-pointers to give the Panthers the lead. Senior guard Derrek Tartt (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick/UAlbany) closed out the first half scoring by making a fast-break lay-up with one second left.

Calarco scored seven straight points to start the second half as the Panthers took a 34-29 lead at the 13:51 mark. The Dolphins answered with seven straight points to take a 36-34 edge with 11:14 to play. Janson started the run with a dunk, Gause drilled a three-pointer and then sophomore forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) made a lay-up, with all three baskets off passes from Champion.

The teams traded runs over the next six minutes, leading to the game's 11th and final tie at 47-apiece. DeNicola scored five straight points to give the Panthers a 39-36 lead, while the Dolphins countered with a 5-2 run on a jumper by freshman guard Patrick McGuinness (New City, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) and a three-pointer by Gause to tie the score 41. DeNicola and Calarco followed with jumpers to put the Panthers in front for the final time. Champion then found Zapisek and senior guard Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) for three-pointers to put the Dolphins in front.

After Sean Crawford made a lay-up to tie the score at 47 with 5:10 left, the Dolphins scored 12 straight points over a stretch of three minutes and 15 seconds. Janson had five of the points, Mohamed drilled a three-pointer and Champion had the last four, including a fast-break lay-up with 45 seconds remaining.

Adelphi scored eight of the game's next 10 points, but could not cut its deficit below six. Calarco had the first five points, while Cliff Brown had the last three. Mohamed made a free throw with four seconds left to end the game's scoring.

Le Moyne (3-3, 3-3 NE-10), which snapped a four-game losing streak to the Panthers, returns to action on Saturday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. against Holy Family University for its first non-conference game of the year.