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Men's Basketball: Le Moyne clamps down, tops SNHU

Staff Report
January 25. 2014 7:40PM

Southern New Hampshire University's C.J. Marriro, left, knocks the ball from Le Moyne's Ryan Romich(24) as SNHU's Elijah Bonsignore, right, defends during the play in the first half of their game hosted at SNHU Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER - Hooksett's Mike Stys made six 3-pointers Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for his Southern New Hampshire University teammates, his shooting wasn't contagious.

Elijah Bonsignore and Rodney Sanders - SNHU's two leading scorers - were held to six points in a 78-68 loss to Le Moyne.

"Anytime your top two scorers have an off night like that you're going to struggle, especially against a well-balanced team," SNHU coach Stan Spirou said. "They both have back injuries and haven't been practicing, and sometimes that makes it tough to get into a rhythm. I think that showed.

"We knew going into this game we were going to have to shoot well from the perimeter, and that just didn't happen."

Bonsignore began the day averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, but was limited to two points on four field goal attempts. Sanders was averaging 14.5 points per contest, but missed 11 of his 13 attempts from the floor. Sanders missed all six of his 3-point attempts.

SNHU dropped to 10-7 overall and 8-6 in the Northeast-10 following the loss, which ended the team's five-game winning streak. The Penmen are fourth in the NE-10 standings, behind Franklin Pierce, St. Anselm and St. Michael's.

Franklin Pierce remained in first place despite Saturday's 106-95 loss to Southern Connecticut. St. Anselm, which beat Bentley 88-79 Saturday, is alone in second place.

Stys finished the game with 22 points. He has made a team-high 41 3-pointers this season.

"He was the only one giving us anything from the perimeter on a consistent basis," Spirou said.

Connor Mahoney led Le Moyne with 22 points. The Dolphins received 15 from 6-foot-11 center Jim Janson, 13 from Nate Gause and 12 from Qwadere Lovell. Janson, who also collected a game-high eight rebounds, entered the game leading the NE-10 in field goal percentage (67.9 percent).

"Him being 6-11, that presents something we don't see all year," Spirou said. "I think our biggest guy is 6-4. We really don't have a post-up player. They funnel everything into him, and although he's not a great shot blocker, he does change a lot of shots."

Le Moyne, which beat St. Anselm 76-74 on Wednesday, stretched its winning streak to four games, and raised its record to 11-7 overall and 8-4 in the NE-10.

Le Moyne's lead peaked at 16 after two Mahoney free throws made it a 51-35 game with 15:24 remaining in the second half. St. Anselm pulled within seven, 66-59, on a Stys 3-pointer with 3:40 to play, but failed to get any closer.

"I thought with about 10 minutes left out intensity picked up," Spirou said. "We needed to knock down a 3 a couple of times and just didn't do it."

Le Moyne made 15 of 26 field goal attempts (57.7 percent) in the first half, and led 40-30 at halftime. The Dolphins scored the final five points of the half.