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January 15. 2013 10:08PM

St. Anselm basketball coach Dickson hits 500-win mark


Keith Dickson, head coach, got his 500th win for Saint Anselm, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester on Tuesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

GOFFSTOWN - St. Anselm College men's basketball coach Keith Dickson, in his 27th season, couldn't remember much about his first career win, a blowout victory against Franklin Pierce on Nov. 25, 1986.

His first loss to St. Michael's? He'll tell you lots.

"In this profession, you get hung up on the losses. They hurt so much more than wins make you happy," said Dickson, who notched his 500th career win on Tuesday night as the Hawks crushed Pace, 101-54, at Stoutenburgh Gym. "When you win games, you're always looking around the corner and only see obstacles. When you lose games, it's tough to see another win anywhere on the horizon."

That's 500 wins and 280 losses. Dickson keeps reminding himself to appreciate the wins, savor the moment, because, really, it's all about the journey and relationships.

Sophomore guard Roy Mabrey, who scored 21 points in the first 12 minutes against the Setters, made certain Dickson could enjoy the milestone win at home. Mabrey shot 8-for-11 from the floor and had three steals and three assists in the first half, leading the Hawks to a 48-30 advantage.

From there, Dickson sat rather comfortably beside assistants Steve Drescher (17th season), Paul Faison (eighth) and John Mariano (first) as St. Anselm improved to 12-2 overall and 8-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference. Reserve guard Mark Schulze netted his second 3-pointer in the final minute as the Hawks reached 101 points. Pace dropped to 7-7 overall (4-6 NE-10).

Mabrey finished with 25 points, and Mike McCahey had 17 as the Hawks shot a sizzling 65 percent from the floor. Six players reached double figures, including Chris Santo (13), John Nielsen (11), Dino Mallios (10) and Schulze (10).

Fans provided a standing ovation for Dickson, who became the 16th coach in Division II history to reach 500 wins.

"You sit there on the bench and sort of think about all that's happened in that gym," said Dickson, the school's all-time winningest coach. "I must say, I'm happy that it happened in Stoutenburgh."

Mabrey indicated the Hawks summoned a little extra effort and focus to lock down the win at home.

"It was really important for us. Five hundred is a big mark," Mabrey said. "We talked about putting together a full game for 40 minutes and giving everything we have. We wanted to show him that we are a championship team. That's what he's been wanting out of us."

Dickson, whose teams have reached the NCAA Tournament a dozen times, enjoyed the company of several former St. Anselm players and staff members after the game.

"Five hundred is a big number. It makes you look back on your career and realize how fortunate you've been," he said. "I've been lucky enough to be part of same program for 27 years. I'm happy we have built a program that has sustained itself over time."
kgray@unionleader.com


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