January 25, 2014

MEN'S BASKETBALL POWERS PAST DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPION SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE, 78-68

Manchester, N.H. – Sophomore forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) scored 18 points to lead the Le Moyne College men's basketball team to a 78-68 win over Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at the SNHU Fieldhouse.

Mahoney nailed three of four three-point attempts and converted a career-high seven foul shots en route to his season-best point total, while adding three rebounds. Graduate student center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) tallied 15 points, nine in the second half, and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) scored seven points in each half, dished out five assists and pulled down four rebounds, while junior guard Naté Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie/Quinnipiac) posted 13 points, six rebounds and two steals off the bench. Senior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) registered eight points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals before fouling out for just the second time in his career.

Mike Stys led the Penmen with a game-high 22 points, 12 of which he scored in the first half on four three-pointers. Aleksander Dobrovic came off the bench to record 18 points, 11 in second half, six assists and four rebounds, while Chris Walters posted 10 points.

After Walters gave the Penmen a 7-6 lead with 17:32 left, the Dolphins scored six straight points to take the lead for good. Janson made a lay-up for the lead, Champion made a driving lay-up and then Janson converted two foul shots with 15:50 left.

Following back-and-forth action over the ensuing four minutes, resulting in a 21-16 Le Moyne lead, the Penmen got three-pointers from Dobrovic and Stys to get within one point with 9:25 left.

The Dolphins answered back with a 12-4 run to take a nine-point advantage with 3:37 to play. Mahoney buried two three-pointers and two free throws to start the run, Gause made a jump shot and then Mahoney made a pull-up jumper.

After Dobrovic made back-to-back lay-ups, the Dolphins scored the last five points of the first half to take a 40-30 lead into the intermission. Champion drilled a three-pointer and Janson ended the scoring with a lay-up with 40 seconds left.

Following a fast-break lay-up by Stys to start the scoring in the second half, the Dolphins rattled off 11 of the next 14 points to take their largest lead of the game with 15:24 left. Mahoney had five of the points, Janson scored four and junior forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) made a lay-up.

The Penmen countered with a 14-5 streak to cut their deficit to seven with 10:29 to go. Stys ignited the run with a jumper and a three-pointer, Adrian Oliveira and Nikola Canic drained three-pointers and then Dobrovic recorded a conventional three-point play to make the score 56-49.

Le Moyne responded with five points over the next 3:20 to push the lead back to double digits. Janson had a tip-in and a free throw and then slammed the ball off a feed from Champion with 7:09 left.

Following five points from each team over the next 2:10, the Penmen made one last push with five straight points. CJ Marriro made a lay-up and then Stys connected on his sixth three-pointer.

Gause ended the Southern New Hampshire comeback attempt by draining a three-pointer from the right wing with the shot clock running down with 3:06 left. The Dolphins put the game away by making nine of 12 free-throw attempts over the last 2:18 around lay-ups by Rodney Sanders and Marriro and a three-pointer by Dobrovic.

Le Moyne (11-7, 8-4 NE-10), which has won four straight games for the first time since December 2012, returns to the court on Tuesday at Stonehill College at 7:30 p.m.