Three NH teams advance to Northeast-10 basketball tournament semifinals
Top-ranked St. Anselm College, fourth-ranked Franklin Pierce University and sixth-seeded Southern New Hampshire University have reached Wednesday's Northeast-10 men's basketball semifinal round and both games will be played in Manchester.
Chris Santo tallied 29 points, Mike McCahey scored 27 and Roy Mabrey scorched the nets for 26 to lead the Hawks to a 98-85 decision against eighth-ranked UMass Lowell at the Stoutenburgh Gym on Sunday.
In Rindge, two-time NE-10 Player of the Year Eric Jean-Guillaume and Ellis Cooper each scored 19 points to spark the fourth-ranked Ravens past fifth-seeded Southern Connecticut, 85-80.
The Ravens (20-7) will meet the Hawks (23-4) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Hawks won the first meeting on Dec. 1 at Stoutenburgh Gym, 87-75. On Feb. 16 in Rindge in the second meeting, the Ravens blew an 18-point first-half lead but regrouped for a 75-66 win. Both teams were tied for first place after the second game, but the Ravens fell to fourth place after losing two of their final three games to end the regular season.
In the other bracket, former Manchester Central standout Mike Stys had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists to guide Southern New Hampshire University to a stunning 79-75 overtime win against University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn. Six Penmen finished in double-digit scoring against the Chargers (19-8), who entered the game winners of 18 of their last 20 games. In their only regular season meeting, New Haven manhandled the Penmen 75-60 in West Haven.
After the game, the Penmen (17-10) received word they were going to host their semifinal game when 10th-seeded St. Rose shocked No. 2 Assumption, 67-64.
During the regular season, the Penmen beat St. Rose 71-55 at the Fieldhouse on Jan. 16. The Golden Knights (15-13) will return to the Fieldhouse on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. semifinal encounter.
The semifinal winners will collide for the NE-10 title at the site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday at 1 p.m.
St. Anselm 98, UMass-Lowell 85: At Stoutenburgh Gym, the Hawks shot 50 percent from the field (33 of 66) and the River Hawks were 34-of-64 for 53 percent. Santo was 10-of-15 from the floor, Mabrey was 9-of-18 and McCahey cashed in on nine of 15 shot attempts. McCahey and Santo each had eight rebounds and teammate Dino Mallios contributed eight assists.
In the first half, the Hawks enjoyed their biggest lead (35-22) with 7:56 to play. Down 40-31, UMass-Lowell scored the next eight points as Antonio Bivins (15 points) had a lay-up, a tip-in and a dunk to close the gap to one.
Free throws from Mabrey and Santo restored order for the Hawks before James Morse buried a three-pointer for a 47-39 advantage. Mabrey ended the half with a three-pointer to give the Hawks a 52-44 advantage.
The lead swelled to 56-44 just 45 seconds into the second half. The River Hawks (15-13), led by Akeem Williams (27 points), cut their deficit to seven points twice in the second half (83-76 with 4:35 left), but never got closer down the stretch.
SNHU 79, New Haven 75 (OT): In West Haven, Conn., Elijah Bonsignore (11 points, six boards, four blocks) gave the Penmen the lead (71-70) for good in overtime. Baskets from Stys and C.J. Marriro pushed the Penmen in front by five points before Ashanti DePass nailed a three-pointer for the Chargers with 1:01 to go.
B.J. Cardarelli (14 points, five boards), on a nice feed from Stys, made a lay-up that was answered by Williams who made two free throws with 28 seconds left. Marriro missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18 seconds left, leaving the door open for New Haven down by two points. But Williams missed a three-point shot, sending Marriro back to the line where he made two free throws to give SNHU its final margin of victory.
Rodney Sanders scored 12 points, but his consecutive three-point shots in the first half helped the Penmen erase an early 19-10 deficit. He also had a three-point shot during a 15-5 Penmen run with 9:01 left when New Haven led 59-49. Marriro had six points during that span. DePass hit a three-point shot to give New Haven a 67-66 lead, but Stys tied the game with a free throw with 1:24 left in regulation.
New Haven regained the lead (69-67) with 58 seconds remaining when Jeff Adkins scored a lay-up. Cardarelli responded with a game-tying basket with 39 seconds to play before SNHU withstood two missed lay-up attempts in the final 10 seconds by New Haven, sending the game into overtime.
Franklin Pierce 85, Southern Conn. 80: In Rindge, the Ravens led 46-43 at halftime and increased their advantage to 53-43 with 17:42 to play on a three-point play from Ryen Vilmont. The Owls responded with a 19-9 run resulting in a 62-all tie following a three-point shot from Luke Houston.
Later Houston broke a 67-all tie with a three-pointer followed by another basket for a 72-67 Owls lead. The Ravens regained the lead (77-74) behind a five-point spurt from Vilmont and four points from Cooper with 3:42 to play. Vilmont pushed the Ravens' lead to 82-76 with 1:18 left and, with FPU leading by three, Custis Christian made two free throws to preserve the win with 25 seconds remaining in the game.