Three NE10 crossover games comprised the Thursday schedule, and we begin the recap with a high-scoring affair between divisional leaders in the Nutmeg State:
ST. ANSELM 113 SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT 99
Six players churned out at least 14 points and St. Anselm shot a sizzling 66% in the first half, highlighting a racehorse win vs. Southwest Division leader Southern Connecticut, its 10th triumph in 11 regular-season meetings at Moore Field House since Southern joined the NE10 in 2000. After spotting their hosts a 3-0 lead, the #15 Hawks took flight with a 57-28 blitz en route to a 65-41 halftime bulge. The lead maxed out at 100-67 on a Miles Tention 3-pointer with 7:06 to play in the second before the Owls closed out the contest on a 33-13 run to make the final score easier on the eye. Tim Guers led the assault with 30 points (4-5 from 3-point land, 12-12 FT), 11 rebounds and six assists. He received ample support from Gustav Suhr-Jessen (18 points, 6-8 FG, 4-5 from 3, six boards) and Cody Ball (16 points, six rebounds, four helpers), along with 14-point outings by Chris Paul, Alonzo Jackson and Tention, the latter two representing personal bests off the bench. CJ Seaforth (10-15 FG, 6-9 from deep) and Kealan Ives (6-9 from 3) busted out for career highs of 32 and 27, respectively, for Southern Connecticut, which also saw Isaiah McLeod collect 18 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort. St. A’s - the frontrunner in the Northeast Division - shot 52% for the game and made nine straight 3-pointers at one stretch in the opening period, In fact, both clubs scorched the nets from beyond the arc (SAC 13-26, SCSU 14-27) but the Hawks were notably stronger from the line (34-40 to 19-26) and in the assist column (19-7). The game was marred by 49 fouls.
Le MOYNE 77 SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE 68
There’s now a tie atop the jammed-up Southwest Division as Le Moyne jumped on Southern New Hampshire early in Syracuse and never relented, tying Southern Connecticut for first as a result. The Dolphins led from start to finish, bolting out to a 25-5 lead vs. their old NECC foes and maintaining the advantage through halftime (43-24). The margin crested at 23 (47-24) after a lay-up by C.J. Asuncion-Byrd (19 points on 8-of-13 shooting in his first start of the season) one minute into the second period, and the Penmen only showed signs of life in the final minutes, outscoring their hosts 21-9 over the last 7:20 to finish within single digits. Tim Leavell was a much-needed force off the bench for the injury-depleted Fins, nailing five of eight from distance for his 15 points and doubling his season output for threes. Tom Brown was also instrumental to his club’s hot start, recording 12 of his 14 points in the early going while dishing out seven assists. Daquaise Andrews garnered 17 of his 21 points after halftime for SNHU while adding six rebounds and four assists. He was flanked by Remo Simonkevicius (11 points off the bench, 5-5 FG), Shawn Montague (10 points, nine caroms) and Charlie Russo, who tallied all 10 of his points after the break in his homecoming. The Dolphins – who were playing at home for the first time in 38 days – tripled its guests in 3-point makes (12-28 to 4-13) and were responsible for all 12 of the game’s turnover points, while crafting the superior assist-turnover line (18/5 to 9/10). The Penmen won the glass, 34-27, though it wasn’t enough to prevent their four-game winning streak from being snapped.
MERRIMACK 78 ADELPHI 65
Juvaris Hayes notched 15 points (2-2 from long range) and 10 assists, and all nine players who saw action scored in Merrimack’s victory over Adelphi on Long Island, slotting the Warriors into sole possession of third place in the Northeast Division. Khalif Crawford (14 points, 4-5 from 3) and Mikey Watkins (12 off the bench) also made impacts for the winners, who trailed 13-8 five minutes in before outscoring their hosts 36-15 the rest of the period and staking themselves to a 44-28 lead. The Panthers – who were fronted by Ronnie Silva’s personal-best 20 points – shaved the deficit down to 54-47 nearly nine minutes into the final frame before Merrimack rattled off a 10-2 spurt, culminating in a Crawford triple that boosted the lead to 64-49 with 8:47 left. The margin remained in double figures the rest of the way, peaking at 74-58 on a Hayes “And-1” with 3:06 remaining as the Warriors snapped the Panthers’ modest four-game win streak. Oswald Parker III contributed 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Adelphi, which was outshot from the floor (54%-36%), especially from behind the 3-point line (15-27 to 9-27), offsetting a 14-7 doubling in free throw makes.
The latest NABC/Division 2 Coaches’ Poll is out and St. Thomas Aquinas is now the highest-ranked team in the region, jumping five spots to #14. St. Anselm slips six to #15 and Bentley drops eight places to #18. Bellarmine (KY) remains at the top of the heap.