MANCHESTER, N.H. – Harrison Taggart looked a little bit like his old self on Saturday afternoon, scoring a game-high 29 points to lead the Saint Anselm College men's basketball team to a 95-86 win over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference action in Manchester, N.H.
The Hawks improve to 15-7 overall and 11-7 in the NE10 with the win, while the Purple Knights drop to 5-18 and 4-14 in league games. Saint Anselm is back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Stonehill College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
Taggart shot 8-for-14 from the field and 9-for-11 at the charity stripe en route to his 29 points while adding seven rebounds. Chris Braley joined him in double-figures with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Taylor Fortin had 14 points, five rebounds and eight assists.
Cody Ball added 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals, with Tim Guers adding 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Grant Mackay netted eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Saint Michael's was led by a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds from Matt Bonds. Thomas Jackson III came off the bench to pour in 22 points, with Levi Holmes III (16 points) and Stan Foster (10 points) also contributing.
After the Purple Knights scored the opening basket of the game, Chris Braley rattled off a personal 9-0 run to give the Hawks a 9-2 lead with 16:30 to play. Cody Ball followed with a triple and Harrison Taggart entered the scoring column with a layup, and just like that, the Hawks build a 14-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game.
Saint Michael's slowly chipped away and a three-ball from Derek Cheatom made it a 26-22 game with 9:04 remaining. Taggart knocked down three free throws to push the lead back to 34-26, but the Purple Knights continued to hang around as a Stan Foster triple tied the game at 34-34 with 3:06 to play.
Taggart answered with a triple and a pair of Fortin free throws extended the lead to 39-34, however Saint Michael's scored five of the final seven points of the period to make it a 41-39 game headed into the half.
Out of the break, the Purple Knights were able to knot the game at 41-41 on a Holmes layup, but the Hawks eventually built a 56-45 lead following a Taggart triple and 15:47 to play. As they had done all game, Saint Michael's continued to hang around and a Thomas Jackson jumper cut the lead to only 58-53 just over a minute later.
A Cheatom jumper at the 10:16 mark made it a 69-61 game, but the Hawks answered with a 11-0 run capped by a pair of Taggart free throws to build an 80-61 lead with 7:57 to play in regulation.
Saint Michael's fought their way back into the game by using a 25-11 run over the next six minutes to make it a 91-86 game and 1:05 to play. Ball ended the run with a layup and after a stop on defense, Guers knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the game and give the Hawks a 95-86 victory.
Saint Anselm shot 47.1% (32-of-68) from the field, 41.7% (10-of-24) from beyond the arc and 84% (21-of-25) at the free throw line in the win. Saint Michael's shot 51.5% (34-of-66) from the floor, 50% (13-of-26) from three, but only 38.5% (5-of-13) at the charity stripe on the night. Saint Anselm held a 44-35 advantage in rebounding while committing only 12 turnovers to 15 for the Purple Knights.
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