February 20, 2013

MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUISES TO 81-60 WIN OVER SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE

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Men's Basketball vs. So. Connecticut

Syracuse, N.Y. – Four Dolphins scored in double figures as the Le Moyne College men's basketball team cruised to an 81-60 victory over Southern Connecticut State University on Wednesday night in Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Junior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport), who returned to the starting lineup after serving as a reserve the last five games following a seven-game absence due to injury, led the Dolphins in scoring with a season-best 18 points, while grabbing a game high-tying six rebounds, dishing out three assists and recording two steals. Graduate student center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) tallied 17 points, including 10 in the second half, and blocked a season high-tying five shots. Freshman forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) registered a career-best 14 points and grabbed a game best-tying six rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes off the bench. Freshman guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) posted 12 points, 10 of which came in the second half, five rebounds and two steals. As a team, the Dolphins shot 53.3% from behind the three-point line, the highest percentage since the opening game of the season, while they posted their best free throw percentage of the season at 85.0 (17-20).

Greg Langston led the Owls in the loss with 19 points, 10 of which came in the second half, while grabbing five rebounds. Deshawn Murphy tallied 13 of his 15 points in the first half, while Rashamell Vereen posted 10 of his 12 points after halftime.

The teams went back-and-forth over the opening 12 minutes and 19 seconds of the game, which featured six ties and neither team leading by more than five points. The Dolphins jumped out to a 7-2 lead on a Champion three-pointer at the 17:32 mark, while the Owls responded with a 12-4 run to take a 14-11 lead with 12:19 left in the half.

Freshman guard Patrick McGuinness (New City, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) buried a pair of three-pointers around a three-pointer from Murphy to even the score at 17 with 11:09 to play. After Vereen and Janson traded baskets, Murphy and Langston registered back-to-back fast-break lay-ups to give the Owls their largest lead of the game with 9:05 left.

The Dolphins countered with 10 straight points to take the lead, which they would not relinquish. Janson started the run with a lay-up, Mahoney followed with three straight baskets and then Champion knocked down a jump shot.

The Owls pulled within 32-29 on a Langston three-pointer with 2:45 left, but the Dolphins closed out the half with a three-pointer from senior guard Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) and a jumper from Champion to take a 37-29 lead into the intermission.

Following back-and-forth play over the first 5:14 of the second half, during which time the Dolphins outscored the Owls, 11-8, Le Moyne scored eight straight points and 10 of the next 11 to take its first 20-point lead of the game with 11:34 remaining. Mohamed started the spurt with a three-pointer, Mahoney followed with two free throws and a three-pointer and then Janson made a lay-up.

After Mahoney put the Dolphins up 65-44 with a three-pointer with 8:21 to play, the Owls scored six straight points to pull within 15, but could not cut further into their deficit. Vereen had a pair of lay-ups around a Langston lay-up in the span.

Le Moyne answered back with a 15-6 run to take its largest lead of the contest, 80-56, with 3:31 remaining. Lovell had eight of the points, while Champion made four free throws and Janson made three free throws.

Tylon Smith and Luke Houston made lay-ups for the Owls and Janson made a free throw for the Dolphins to close out the game's scoring.

Le Moyne (12-12, 9-11 NE-10), which moved into ninth place in the NE-10 standings with two games remaining and can finish as high as sixth place, travels to Garden City, N.Y. on Saturday to face Adelphi at 3:30 p.m.