January 22, 2014

MEN'S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF DEFENDING CONFERENCE-CHAMPION SAINT ANSELM, 76-74

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Le Moyne Dolphins Sports Network | Men's Basketball vs. St. Anselm



Syracuse, N.Y. – Senior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) nailed a go-ahead three-pointer and junior guard Naté Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie/Quinnipiac) blocked a three-point attempt with nine seconds left as the Le Moyne College men's basketball team knocked off defending Northeast-10 Conference champion Saint Anselm College, 76-74, on Wednesday night in NE-10 play at Ted Grant Court.

Champion recorded his second double-double of the season with game-highs of 23 points and 10 assists (against just one turnover). He posted seven of his assists in the first half, while scoring 19 of his points in the second half. Gause registered 10 points in each half to post his third 20 point performance in the last four games, while adding four rebounds and three blocked shots. Graduate student center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) also tallied 10 points in each half, while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds.

Chris Santo led four Hawks in double-figures with 18 points, 11 of which he scored in the first half. Mike McCahey, last year's Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year, posted 17 points and a team-best seven rebounds. John Neilsen connected on five three-pointers for his 15 points, while Dino Mallios recorded 12 points and eight assists (against six turnovers). Roy Mabrey, a First Team All-Conference selection last year and the NE-10 Rookie of the Year two years ago, was held to four points on 2-of-8 shooting after entering the game averaging 15.4 points per contest.

Saint Anselm (11-6, 9-4 NE-10) opened the game with seven of the first nine points before the Dolphins responded with eight of the next 10 points for their first lead of the game. Santo had four of Saint Anselm's first seven points, while four Dolphins each had two points in the 8-2 spurt.

After the teams traded baskets, resulting in an 18-16 lead for the Hawks, the Dolphins got a three-pointer from sophomore forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) and a fast-break lay-up by Gause to take their largest lead of the stanza with 8:44 to go.

The Hawks responded with eight straight points to regain a five-point advantage with 6:31 left in the half. Santo made a jumper before Nielsen and Mallios each drained three-pointers.

After Le Moyne countered with six straight points, the Hawks scored seven consecutive points to take the largest lead of the game, 35-29, with 2:22 left. Janson had four of Le Moyne's six points, while three Hawks combined for their seven points.

The Dolphins closed out the half with six of the last seven points to get within 36-35 at halftime. Champion and Janson made lay-ups and then junior forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) ended the half's scoring with a lay-up.

After the teams traded points to open the second half, resulting in the game's fifth tie (41-41), Janson had a dunk and made two free throws to give the Dolphins their largest lead of the game with 17:25 remaining.

Following a Nielsen three-pointer and a Janson lay-up, the Hawks scored six straight points to regain the lead. Mabrey, Dominic Borelli and Mallios each connected on shots in the span, which put the Hawks up 50-47 with 13:54 left.

Gause tied the score for the sixth time with a three-pointer from the top of the key and Champion followed with a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Dolphins back in front.

After freshman forward Stan Buczek (Port Jervis, N.Y./Burke Catholic) gave the Dolphins a 55-52 lead with 11:57 left, the Hawks scored 11 of the next 13 points over 2:23 to take a six-point advantage. McCahey started the run with two free throws, Mallios buried a three-pointer from the right wing and then McCahey nailed consecutive three-pointers from the left corner.

The Dolphins answered back with a 7-1 run to tie the score for the eighth and final time with 4:07 left. Champion and Janson converted lay-ups, Champion followed with a free throw and then Janson tied the score with a dunk.

McCahey answered with a jumper from the left baseline and Nielsen followed with a three-pointer from the left wing to give the Hawks a 69-64 lead with 2:45 left, but the Hawks would not score again for over two minutes.

Champion ignited a 9-0 run with a lay-up as the Dolphins turned their five-point deficit into a four-point advantage. After the game's final media timeout with 2:03 to play, Champion fed Gause in the paint, where he turned and knocked down a jump shot to pull the Dolphins within one. Following a steal by sophomore guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon), Champion drained a three-pointer from the right wing with 1:14 left to put the Dolphins up. Champion extended Le Moyne's lead to 73-69 by making two foul shots with 39 seconds left.

Saint Anselm stayed alive as Santo ended the scoring drought of 2:19 by making a lay-up with 26 seconds left. After Janson missed the front end of a "1-and-1" with 19 seconds left, the Hawks had a chance to take the lead on a three-point attempt by Nielsen from the right wing with nine seconds left, but Gause swatted the ball out of the air and into the hands of Janson, who flicked the ball up court to Gause. After Gause connected on two foul shots with six seconds left to put the lead back to four, Mallios drilled a three-pointer from the right wing with 1.7 seconds left. Out of a Saint Anselm timeout, Gause drew a foul with 0.6 seconds left. He made the first and intentionally missed the second and the Dolphins were able to take possession of the rebound and run out the remainder of the clock to seal the victory.

Le Moyne (10-7, 7-4 NE-10), which snapped a four-game losing streak to the Hawks, is back on the hardwood on Saturday at defending Northeast-10 Conference tournament champion Southern New Hampshire University (10-6, 8-5 NE-10) at 3:30 p.m.