NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore Roy Mabrey (Belmar, N.J.) matched his career high with 32 points, including 19 in a huge second half for the Saint Anselm College basketball team, as the Hawks earned a 98-83 win against Merrimack College on Wednesday night at Bert Hammel Court at the Volpe Athletics Center.
The Hawks improved to 4-1 on the season, including 2-1 in Northeast-10 play, while the Warriors fell to 2-5, 0-3 NE-10.
Mabrey set career highs in field goals made (12) and 3-point field goals made (6) as he shot 12-for-17 from the floor, including 6-for-11 from deep, and a perfect 2-for-2 at the line. Mabrey matched the 32 he had on 11 of 19 shooting at home against Bentley on Nov. 27 of last year. The reigning Northeast-10 Player of the Week also erased his previous career high of five treys that he drained at Bentley on Feb. 4 of last season.
Freshman Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y.) netted 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting to go along with six rebounds. Sophomore Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was also in double figures for the Hawks as he added 16 on 8 of 9 shooting, in addition to pulling down seven boards.
Saint Anselm jumped out to a 7-2 lead 1:45 in when Mabrey drained a 3-pointer after baskets from junior Dominic Borelli (Westbrook, Maine) and McCahey. The Hawks led 9-3 when an 8-2 Merrimack run, with six points from Mike Clifford, tied at the game at 11 just 5:04 in.
Mabrey answered with a 3 before Santo dropped in a layup to make it 16-11 at the 13:57 mark. After the teams traded baskets twice, Anthony Barry sliced the Merrimack deficit to three at 20-17 with 12:26 to play in the opening half. Junior John Nielsen (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) then doubled the lead with a 3, but Gelvis Solano hit back with consecutive treys that tied the game at 23 with 10:13 on the clock.
After Mabrey and Solano traded 3s, a layup by junior Dino Mallios (Winthrop, Mass.) put the Hawks back in the lead with 8:00 remaining. Solano made one of two at the line on the ensuing possession before making a steal on the Hawks' next trip down and going in for a thundering dunk that gave Merrimack its first lead of the night at 32-31 with 6:36 to play.
The teams quickly traded baskets before a Borelli layup and a Nielsen trey put the Hawks back in the lead at 38-34 with 5:00 to go. The teams traded scores again before the Warriors put together an 8-0 run, with five points from Adam Marshall and three from T.J. Strickland, to take a 44-40 lead with 3:13 remaining.
The teams answered buckets once more before a Solano J and a Strickland trey gave the Warriors their largest lead of the half at 51-42 with 46 seconds on the clock. Senior James Morse (Arundel, Maine) then made a long, running 2 as time expired to trim the deficit to 51-44 heading into the locker room.
Mabrey led the Hawks with 13 points at the break.
The Hawks climbed within three to start the second half after layups from McCahey and Mabrey. After a Tyler Young layup bumped the lead back to five, a Mabrey jumper and a pair of free throws from Borelli put the Hawks within one at 53-52 at the 17:39 mark. Mabrey then followed a Strickland layup with another 3-pointer that tied the contest at 55 with 16:25 remaining.
Clifford made one of two at the line before a Santo layup gave the Hawks a 57-56 lead. After a Travonne Berry-Rogers 3-pointer put Merrimack up two, Saint Anselm responded with a 14-0 run that gave it a 71-59 lead at the 11:26 mark. Borelli tied it with a layup before a Mabrey 3 put the Hawks up three. Santo and Morse baskets extended the run before a pair of Mabrey free throws and a Morse 3-pointer closed the run.
Solano seized the Saint Anselm run with a jumper and followed that with a 3-pointer and another jumper that trimmed the Merrimack deficit to 71-66 with 8:47 remaining. Mabrey responded by draining a 3 from the left wing and then dropped in a layup to make it a 10-point game. After the teams traded baskets, McCahey converted a three-point play and the Hawks led 81-68 with 6:42 left.
Clifford answered with five straight points, followed by a pair of free throws from Solano and the Warriors trimmed their deficit to six at 81-75 at the 5:42 mark. The Hawks responded with a 12-4 run – with six points from Santo – that expanded the Saint Anselm lead to 93-79 with 1:45 to play.
After a pair of Strickland free throws, McCahey buried a 3 that gave the Hawks their largest lead of the night at 96-81 with 1:09 to play. Solano answered with a jumper 14 seconds later before Santo capped the scoring with a one-handed dunk with 29 seconds on the clock.
Morse was a perfect 4 of 4 from the field, including 1 of 1 from deep, as he scored nine points to go along with five assists. Borelli posted eight points, nine boards and a pair of steals, while Nielsen added eight points and three assists. Mallios chipped in seven points, nine assists and two steals. The nine assists are the most for Mallios since he handed out 10 against Bloomfield on Dec. 30, 2010.
Saint Anselm outshot Merrimack, 56.5 percent (39-69) to 52.5 percent (32-61), while the Warriors shot 57.1 percent (8-14) from deep to the Hawks' 39.3 percent (11-28). The Hawks won the battle on the glass, 33-30, and held a 40-38 edge in the paint. They also forced 17 Merrimack turnovers, while turning it over 13 times themselves. Saint Anselm also had 24 assists, marking the most since it tallied the same amount at home against Pace on Nov. 19, 2008.
Solano led the Warriors with 28 points, while Clifford added 26 points and 11 boards.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Dec. 1 at 3:30 p.m. when they play host to Franklin Pierce University at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).