Men's Basketball: St. Anselm makes a statement against FPU
GOFFSTOWN - The St. Anselm men's basketball team wanted, perhaps needed, to make a statement in the Northeast-10 showdown for first place in the Northeast Division.
The Hawks did just that, emphatically, on Saturday afternoon with a 90-85 win over Franklin Pierce of Rindge in Stoutenburgh Gym.
Senior captain Dino Mallios put up a career-high 24 points and had 11 assists and sophomore Mike McCahey added a whopping 20 rebounds to go with 20 points to lead the Hawks, who had lost three straight to the Ravens.
"Pierce is a great team," Mallios said. "But we got a little sick and tired of it. We know what we're going to get out of them and it's always going to be a battle. We've had this day circled on our calendar for a while."
The Hawks led Pierce by seven with less than seven minutes to play in Rindge back in early December and lost, 77-73. They lost to the Ravens twice last year, once in the regular season and then as the No. 1 seed in the league tournament.
"I've said for a while now, the last three years, that you could look at Franklin Pierce and say you're probably going to have to go through them to win anything in this league," said St. Anselm coach Keith Dickson. "They've been very good now for three years in a row."
Right back at you, said Franklin Pierce coach David Chadbourne.
"There's a lot of good teams and I think we are one of them," he said.
"And I know St. Anselm is one of them. We'll see what happens."
The Hawks improved to 16-6 overall and moved in front of Franklin Pierce in the Northeast Division standings. St. Anselm holds down first place in the division at 14-4 and the Ravens are next at 13-5.
Each has just three games left in the regular season.
The Hawks, led by the shooting of Mallios that opened things up nicely, got off to a fast and furious start and then held off a second-half rally by the Ravens.
Mallios and the Hawks wasted little time in opening things up.
He hit a long jumper 2:20 into the game that was initially called a three-pointer, but was then changed to a two-pointer.
Junior guard Roy Mabrey (21 points) delivered a trey, Mallios hit a traditional three-point play and then nailed two treys of his own.
Just like that, the Hawks had run off 14 straight points and led 16-5.
Junior forward Chris Santo (15 points) hit a three-pointer from the top of the key and senior John Nielsen contributed one from the left corner and St. Anselm had it up to 34-19 with 4:55 left in the first half.
Another Mallios trey pushed it to 39-21 with 3:28 to go.
Ellis Cooper (20 points) had six points to help the Ravens cut it to 43-32, but Santo and McCahey each hit a pair of free throws and Dominic Borelli tipped in a Mallios miss and the Hawks had the last six points of the half and a 49-32 advantage at the break.
Franklin Pierce was going nowhere.
The Ravens got as close as 69-67 with 8:58 left on a layup by Paul Becklens.
The Hawks never rattled and kept their composure and let them get no closer.
"To our credit, they caught up and basically we looked them in the eye and won an eight-minute game," Dickson said.
That they did.