MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior John Nielsen (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) and sophomore Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J.) each led four Hawks in double figures with 13 points, as the Saint Anselm College men's basketball team posted a 74-56 victory against Saint Michael's College on Saturday afternoon at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks win for the ninth time in their last 10 games – and 16th time in the previous 18 – to improve to 21-4 on the season and 17-4 in Northeast-10 play. The Purple Knights drop to 8-17, 5-16 NE-10.
Nielsen shot 5 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 8 from beyond the arc, while grabbing three rebounds. Santo was 6-for-9 from the field, including 1-for-1 from downtown, and made three steals. Junior Dino Mallios (Winthrop, Mass.) netted 12 points (4-8 FG; 1-3 3-FG; 3-4 FT), handed out three assists and grabbed a couple of rebounds. Freshman Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y.) also added 12 points (5-12 FG; 2-4 3-FG) and collected five boards.
The Hawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead when McCahey knocked down a 3-pointer two minutes in. With the lead at five under a minute-and-a-half later, back-to-back treys from James Cambronne and Mike Thompson put Saint Michael's in front, 12-11, with 15:37 remaining in the opening half.
With the game tied at 22-all with 9:26 left, consecutive 3-pointers by Nielsen and a layup from freshman Victor Joshua (New Haven, Conn.) opened the Hawks' lead to 30-22 at the 6:16 mark. Five straight from Saint Michael's would cut it to three, but a 3-pointer from Joshua and a layup by sophomore Roy Mabrey (Belmar, N.J.) opened it back to eight.
The Purple Knights would again fight back with four straight to trim it to four, but a Mallios trey from the top of the key with seconds left sent the Hawks into the locker room with a 38-31 advantage.
A 6-2 spurt to begin the second half, powered by a pair of treys from Cambronne, brought Saint Michael's within three just 1:25 in, but a 14-2 stretch for the Hawks – with six points from Mallios and four points from Nielsen – bumped the lead to 54-39 with 11:59 to play.
Greg Grippo put in five straight points for the Purple Knights, but Saint Anselm answered with a 15-4 run, which was sparked by 3s from Santo and McCahey, to widen the gap to the largest of the contest at 69-48 at the 6:27 mark.
Offsetting 5-0 runs would keep it a 21-point game until Dom Ditlefsen drained a 3-pointer with 1:16 remaining to close the scoring.
Senior James Morse (Arundel, Maine) posted nine points (3-5 FG; 1-1 3-FG; 2-4 FT), six rebounds and three assists, while Mabrey registered seven points (3-10 FG; 1-4 3-FG), nine boards, six assists and three steals. Joshua also chipped in seven points on perfect 3 of 3 shooting, including 1 of 1 from deep.
The Hawks narrowly outshot the Purple Knights, 43.3 percent (29-67) to 39.2 percent (20-51), including 43.5 percent (10-23) to 39.3 percent (11-28) from distance. Saint Anselm held a 26-10 advantage in the paint and a 20-0 margin in points off turnovers after forcing 18 and committing a season-low three. The three turnovers are the fewest in a game for the program since at least the 2000-01 season. Saint Michael's owned a 39-36 edge on the glass.
Grippo led the Purple Knights with 14 points, while Cambronne added 13.
The Hawks return to action in their regular-season finale on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. when they play host to Stonehill College at Stoutenburgh. They will clinch the Northeast-10 Regular-Season Championship and the top seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Championship tournament with a win or losses by Franklin Pierce University and Assumption College. 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).