MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore Roy Mabrey (Belmar, N.J.) pumped in a game-high 21 points and classmate Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J.) added 16 off the bench as the 22nd-ranked Saint Anselm College men's basketball team posted a 72-52 victory against the University of New Haven on Tuesday night at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks win for the 13th time in the last 15 games to improve to 15-3 on the season, including 11-3 in Northeast-10 play, which is the best start for Saint Anselm since they went 16-2 to kick off the 1995-96 season. The Hawks, who had been receiving votes in the NABC Division II Poll for the last three weeks, jumped into the top 25 prior to the game. It is the first time the Hawks have been ranked since the week of Jan. 25, 2011 and the highest ranking since they were No. 21 the week of Feb. 7, 2006. The Chargers watch their 11-game win streak dissolve as they fall to 12-6, 9-5 NE-10.
Mabrey extended his double-digit scoring streak to 17 games as he shot 7 of 14 from the floor, including 2 of 6 from long range, and a perfect 5 of 5 at the line, while collecting three rebounds. Santo, who had a handful of spectacular moves to get to the hoop, was 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 at the stripe to go along with five boards and three steals. Senior James Morse (Arundel, Maine) was also in double figures for just the second time this year for the Hawks as he added 12 points (5-5 FG; 2-2 3-FG), six rebounds and two assists.
New Haven jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a Justin Exum jumper and a 3-pointer from Eric Anderson, but the Hawks settled in and went 5-for-5 from the line to knot the game and jumpstart a 17-3 run that featured five points each from Mabrey, Santo and Morse to make it 17-8 with 12:39 remaining in the opening half.
With the lead at nine a minute later, a pair of free throws from Exum and Jeffery Adkins cut it to five, but the Hawks responded with a 17-4 surge that sent them into the locker room with a 37-19 lead. Mabrey led the way with five points during the stretch, while freshman Victor Joshua (New Haven, Conn.) added four.
A layup by junior Dino Mallios (Winthrop, Mass.) just six seconds into the second half made the margin an even 20. After an Anderson jumper answered the score, Borelli and Exum exchanged baskets before a 3-pointer from freshman Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y.) opened the lead up to 44-23 just 2:01 in.
The Chargers hit back with a 10-2 run that featured a pair of treys from Jeremy Williams and whittled the deficit down to 13 at 46-33 at the 15:57 mark. With the margin at 15 less than five minutes later, a 7-0 spurt – with five points from Mabrey – gave the Hawks their largest lead of the night at 64-42 with 8:01 to play.
The margin was 19 with 5:34 to play and neither team scored for nearly four minutes until sophomore Mark Schulze (Townsend, Mass.) nailed a jumper from the left elbow that made it 70-49 with 1:48 on the clock. Schulze then closed the scoring with a nifty driving layup that brought the final gap to 20 with 25 seconds left.
McCahey sees his 13-game double-digit scoring streak snapped as he posts seven points, eight boards and three assists. Mallios tallied four points, eight assists, two rebounds, a block and a steal. Joshua, Schulze and junior Dominic Borelli (Westbrook, Maine) all chipped in four points.
Saint Anselm outshot New Haven, 53.8 percent (28-52) to 34.5 percent (19-55), including 59.1 percent (13-22) to 21.4 percent (6-28) in the opening half and 35.3 percent (6-17) to 26.1 percent (6-23) from beyond the arc. The Hawks also owned the paint (40-22) and held an advantage on the glass (37-26). The Chargers committed just nine turnovers, while forcing 12.
Exum paced New Haven with 15 points.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3:30 p.m. when they travel to take on Adelphi University. The next home game for the Hawks is Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3:30 p.m. when they play host to Bentley University at Stoutenburgh. 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).