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Saint Anselm Hawks deal with NCAA tourney defeat
St. Anselm's Chris pulls in a rebound against host Southern Connecticut State in the NCAA Division II East Regional final at New Haven Tuesday night. The Hawks' season ended with a 78-72 defeat. (Arnold Gold/New Haven Register)
Two days after losing the NCAA East Region Division II men’s basketball tournament final to host Southern Connecticut State University, 78-72, in New Haven, Conn., St. Anselm College head coach Keith Dickson and his team are still dealing with the disappointment and pain of knowing they had a chance to close out Tuesday’s game with a victory.
“That’s really the story,” Dickson said Wednesday. “The strength of our team is shooting the ball and we ended up missing too many open shots. They (Owls) weren’t hitting their shots either, but they did help themselves with 19 offensive boards.”
“Anyone who has followed us over the years knows most teams won’t play zone against us because we can shoot the ball really well,” said Dickson. “The frustrating part is we came into the game thinking we had to play our best game to beat them. It turned out we didn’t have to, because they didn’t play well. So it came down to us just doing what we normally do, how we normally play to close out this game and we just couldn’t do it.”
“Dominic really stepped up and played his best basketball this week in the tournament,” said Dickson. “I’m not sure we make it to the finals without him (16 points, 14 boards) against Bloomfield. John was a role player and back-up until this year. He was the best shooter in the NE-10 and just had a terrific season. Dino became the face of our program the last two years. I’ve had many terrific point guards in my 28 years here and I would mention Dino among the best of them. He’s right up there on the list.”
And given Dickson’s track record, there’s a very good chance the Hawks will return to the regionals next year.