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February 26. 2013 11:52PM

St. Anselm rolls, earns top seed in upcoming NE-10 tournament

St. Anselm College clinched the top seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 men's basketball tournament and Southern New Hampshire University gained a first-round bye.

Chris Santo netted 14 points off the bench and Dino Mallios added 11 points and seven rebounds as the Hawks upended Stonehill 70-52 at Stoutenburgh Gym Tuesday night.

The Hawks ended the regular season 22-4 overall and their 18-4 conference mark is the program's best since the 2000-01 season (17-5) when the NE-10 went to a 22-game schedule. It marks the 12th time during head coach Keith Dickson's tenure that the Hawks have posted 20 or more wins in one season. St. Anselm has won 17 of its last 19 games.

The 22-4 record is currently the program's second-best record under Dickson The program's best record under Dickson is 28-3, in 1995-96. That team included standouts John O'Connell, Darren Clough and Brendan McCarthy.

The Hawks will face the winner of Friday's first-round game between No. 9 Le Moyne at No. 8 UMass-Lowell. St. Anselm will play on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Stoutenburgh Gym. St. Anselm split its two games against the River Hawks (91-88 home loss Dec, 4, 80-65 road win Feb. 20) and beat Le Moyne (80-67 home win, Jan. 19) in their only meeting.

The other first-round game Friday features No. 10 St. Rose at No. 7 Adelphi. The winner plays at second-ranked Assumption at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Across town at the SNHU Fieldhouse, the Penmen's 65-51 win over St. Michael's, coupled with Adelphi's 70-57 road loss to Southern Connecticut, catapulted Stan Spirou's team into the sixth position. SNHU (16-10 overall, 12-10 conference mark) ended up one game ahead of Adelphi (11-11). Both teams entered Tuesday's action tied with Adelphi holding the tie-breaker with its regular season win against the Penmen.

Rodney Sanders scored 16 points to lead SNHU.

Also Tuesday night, Franklin Pierce University lost to Merrimack, 69-52. So instead of going to Rindge, the Penmen, picked to finish 12th in the pre-season poll, will travel to play New Haven on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Chargers, who beat the Penmen by 15 in West Haven on Jan. 19, have won 16 of their last 18 games.

Franklin Pierce will host Southern Connecticut at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Ravens lost to the Owls, 68-65, on the road on Jan. 9.

Just 11 days ago, the Ravens beat the Hawks in a battle for first place. But the Ravens wound up losing two of their final three games. Tuesday night's loss knocked Franklin Pierce into fourth place, allowing New Haven, a 60-59 winner against St. Rose Tuesday night, to tie the Ravens in the standings with identical 16-6 marks. New Haven earned the third seed because they beat Franklin Pierce (53-50) during the regular season in Rindge.

The semifinals will be played at the site of the higher seeds on Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and the finals are slated for Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.

On the women's side, Bentley (21-1) clinched the top spot. Franklin Pierce (14-8) finished fifth in the conference and will travel to No. 4 UMass-Lowell on Sunday for a 3 p.m. quarterfinal game.

Michelle DeRoma scored 22 points and Sloane Sorrell added 15 as the Penmen ended their season with a 70-58 win against St. Michael's Tuesday night. St. Anselm lost to Stonehill, 57-47, and finished their campaign at 1-21.

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