St. Anselm basketball team upsets No. 7 Franklin Pierce, 87-75
James Morse for St. Anselm does a trick stop and pass turn against Georgios Papapetrou for Franklin Pierce St at Saint Anselm, on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
GOFFSTOWN - Mike McCahey scored a career-high 25 points including a 3-pointer with less than a minute left to put the game away as the St. Anselm College men's basketball team downed seventh-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 87-75, at Stoutenburgh Gym on Saturday.
The freshman was slick off screens, often catching his defender cheating, and cutting to the hoop for some easy points in the paint. He led the Hawks with 25 points while the Ravens' Eric Jean-Guillaume led all scorers with 29.
"My teammates were finding me in good spots," McCahey said. "Dino (Mallios) found me cutting a bunch of times, my teammates found me kicking out for jumpshots and they drew attention."
The Hawks lit it up in the first half with backdoor cuts that led to easy buckets and a 62.1 shooting percentage, while in the second half most of their offense came from the charity stripe, where they were 24-for-28. Both teams have identical records, 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the Northeast-10.
The Ravens had opened the season with five straight wins and were ranked seventh in the nation.
"Beating a quality team early in the season is a big deal," St. Anselm coach Keith Dickson said. "Coming in to this we knew we were going to be tested. We knew if we could beat them we've got a good team here."
The Hawks scored 32 of their 43 points in the first half in the paint. A lot of those came off quick cuts to the basket and good passes from the guards. The Ravens changed things up in the second half and took those cuts away. St. Anselm had to find another way to put points on the board and that was by being aggressive and getting to the line.
The Hawks shot just 32.3 percent in the second half, but got 24 of their 44 points from the line.
"This year we hadn't been getting to the line much," said Hawk guard Roy Mabrey, who finished with 15 points. "Coach brought it to us and said you guys need to get to the line to beat these guys."
There were nine lead changes in the closely-contested first half. St. Anselm took the lead for good when McCahey hit one of two free throws to put his team up 31-30 with 4:42 left in the first half.
The Hawks led the entire second half. Franklin Pierce cut the lead to four points with 2:10 remaining, but then the Hawks hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put it out of reach. James Morse hit the first to make it 82-75 with 1:36 left then McCahey drained his to make it 85-75 with 1:02 remaining.