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College Basketball: Three NH teams chase NE-10 title

It's been three years since the St. Anselm men's basketball team has been to the NCAA Division II tournament and seven years since Hawks won a game in the national tournament.

At least one of those streaks will end soon and it's a good bet so will the other.

The Hawks are a lock to get an invitation to the NCAAs after finishing first in the Northeast-10 Conference for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. And it would be a surprise if they don't get deep in the regional.

After several years of mixed results, the Hawks are having a banner season. They are 22-4 after finishing out the regular season by winning 17 of their last 19 games and open the conference tournament by hosting eight-seeded UMass Lowell (15-12) today (3 p.m., Stoutenburgh Gym) in a quarterfinal game.

The teams split a pair of games this year, with each winning on the road.

Head coach Keith Dickson was named the NE-10 Coach of the Year, sophomore guard Roy Mabrey was named to the all-conference first team and freshman forward Mike McCahey was the conference rookie of the year. Junior point guard Dino Mallios was picked to the third team.

The Hawks will be after their first NE-10 tournament title since winning back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006. No matter what happens, they are sure to be one of as many as six teams from the conference expected to move on to the NCAAs.

On the other hand, the margin of error for the Southern New Hampshire University is a lot smaller.

The sixth-seeded Penmen (16-10) won their last three games to ensure their first winning season in three years, but they will need at least one win in the conference tournament, and maybe even two, to get their first bid to the NCAAs in eight years.

The Penmen are in West Haven. Conn., today at 3 to play third-seeded New Haven. In the only meeting between the two teams this year, on Jan. 19, the Penmen lost on the road to the Chargers, 75-60.

Franklin Pierce University of Rindge will be looking to send two teams on to the NCAAs.

The men are seeded the fourth and host fifth-seeded Southern Connecticut today at 3. The Ravens (19-7) feature senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume, who was named the NE-10 Player of the Year for the second straight season.

The FPU women (17-9) are seeded fifth and have to go on the road today (3 p.m., Costello Gymnasium) to play a fourth-seeded UMass Lowell team (18-8) it beat twice during the regular season.

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