Thirty-six of the 39 East Region teams were in action over the weekend, with big games in all three conferences. We start with a Top 25 upset in the NE-10:
MERRIMACK 61 ST. ANSELM 39
Juvaris Hayes compiled 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals, while reserve guard Mikey Watkins also tossed in 14 (2-2 from long range), all in the first half, in leading Merrimack past #17 St. Anselm at the Volpe Center, winning for the fourth straight time and trimming the Hawks’ first-place lead to two games in the NE10’s Northeast Division. The Warriors jumped out to leads of 22-7 and 38-13 on the way to a 40-18 halftime chasm, never allowing their guests to come closer than 20 points over the last 20 minutes; the margin peaking at 58-31 on a Hayes lay-up with 5:59 to play. St. A’s – which was playing without superstar guard Tim Guers – shot a frigid 29% and 2-of-17 from 3-point territory in mustering a regional season-low 39 points, its lowest offensive output since a 54-31 loss at American International on March 1, 1984. Merrimack – which also received 10 points from Khalief Crawford – made 49% of its attempts and 9-of-20 from beyond the arc while allowing its fewest points since a 43-36 victory over St. Michael’s on December 4, 2012. Cody Ball was the lone double-digit scorer for the Hawks with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. His team dominated the glass (45-32, including 16-3 on the offensive end) but committed more than twice as many turnovers (23-11), resulting in an almost-identical 24-11 scoring differential.
ADELPHI 83 NEW HAVEN 78
The marquee match-up in the Southwest Division saw Adelphi clip New Haven in Garden City, helping create a three-way tie for second place between these two and Southern Connecticut. A 20-3 second-half surge was the difference in this one as the Panthers reversed a 61-53 deficit near the midway mark and came out on the other side with a 73-64 lead following a Ronnie Silva 3-pointer with 3:31 left. The Chargers – who were spearheaded by Elijah Bailey’s 21 points and Quashawn Lane’s personal-best 19-point (7-7 FG, 3-3 from 3), six-assist performance – answered with a 9-2 spurt, capped by a Roy Kane, Jr. 3-ball, bringing them within 75-73 with 34 ticks remaining. Silva – who registered 22 points (5-8 from distance) and six assists – provided some breathing room with a driving lay-up, and Nick Cambio (23 points, 9-10 FG, six rebounds) followed with a pair of free throws at the 20-second mark to make it a 79-73 game. A Bailey trey halved the deficit with 13 seconds to go, but the hosts converted four straight at the stripe over the final 11 seconds to salt it away. Conor McGuinness chalked up 13 points (3-4 from deep) and eight assists for the Panthers, who shot a robust 61% from the floor and scorching 15-for-24 from 3-point country (UNH was a formidable 54% and 12-of-28, by contrast). Kessly Felizor (15 points, 3-5 from afar, four steals), Kane (11 points) and Derrick Rowland (10 points, six helpers) also reached double figures in defeat for New Haven, which led by as many as 11 (54-43) six-and-a-half minutes into the second half and which doubled-up its hosts in mistake points (22-11).
SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT 98 SAINT ROSE 81
Six players scored in twin figures and accounted for all 98 points as Southern Connecticut cruised past Saint Rose at Moore Field House, remaining in the aforementioned second-place tie. Taurus Adams II topped the scoring column with 25 points (9-14 FG), followed by Joey Wallace (career-high 22 points, 7-10 FG, 4-7 from 3, eight rebounds), Mekhi Warren (personal-best 15 points off the bench), Kealan Ives (12 points, 10 assists), CJ Seaforth (12 points) and Isaiah McLeod (10 points, eight boards) as the Owls led from wire to wire, bolting out to a 27-8 lead, then using a 19-9 start to the second stanza in stretching a 49-41 advantage to 68-50 following a Seaforth three. The Golden Knights – who saw Adam Anderson match his career high with 29 points (7-9 from long distance) – came within 76-64 at the 8:17 mark, but four straight Wallace freebies, followed by an Adams lay-up, extended the gap to 82-64, essentially ending all doubt. Matt Cerutti (13 points, six rebounds), Michael Wearne (12 points) and Jeff Allen (10 off the bench) provided solid support for Saint Rose, which was outshot overall (55%-45%), outworked at the foul line (29-37 to 12-17) and outmuscled on the glass (37-26) in falling for a fourth straight time.
Le MOYNE 87 AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 72
Le Moyne is now ahead of the pack in the Southwest Division after outscoring American International in Syracuse for its sixth straight triumph, avenging a November loss and eliminating its guests from their playoff pursuit. The Dolphins got a leg up at 21-9 and 40-27 before the Yellow Jackets chipped away, pulling within 40-37 on an Isaiah Salter trifecta 22 seconds into the second half. It was 52-46 roughly five minutes later when the Fins launched a 15-4 run, opening things up at 67-50 after Ryan Roland’s 3-pointer with 10:06 to play. The spread remained in double digits the rest of the way, maxing out at 85-66 as Le Moyne shot a sizzling 61% from the field and 11-of-22 from long range (AIC was 50% and 4-of-18). Roland (career-high 22 for the second straight game, 8-10 FG, 6-8 from distance) and Kobi Nwandu (22 points, 7-12 FG) piloted the winners, who also landed C.J. Asuncion-Byrd (17 points off the bench, 6-9 FG) and Tom Brown (14 points, 5-7 FG, eight rebounds) in twin figures. Zekiah Owens – who had recorded a career high of 21 points in the previous meeting – bettered that by one this time out, connecting on 10 of 13 shots for the Jackets, who also saw Jordan Vidal (15 points) and Salter (14) reach doubles.
BENTLEY 66 ASSUMPTION 65
Ryan Richmond’s short pull-up jumper with 35 seconds left lifted Bentley past commonwealth rival Assumption in a squeaker at Laska Gym. The senior guard finished with 31 points (10-10 FT) and four assists for the Falcons, who also benefited from Jordan Mello-Klein’s 12 points (5-7 FG, 2-2 from afar), maintaining third place in the Northeast Division. In a tug-of-war contest that featured 14 ties and 19 lead changes, the Greyhounds enjoyed the widest separation of the night at 18-10 and 29-21 before the visitors closed the half with a 12-2 flourish, punctuated by a Mello-Klein 3-ball just prior to the buzzer, putting Bentley on top, 33-31. The game was a see-saw affair the rest of the way, and played entirely within two possessions. A left-wing 3-pointer by Cal Connolly (13 points, seven rebounds) gave Assumption its final lead at 65-64 with 52 seconds remaining, leading to Richmond’s clutch go-ahead shot. That would hold up as a trio of potential winning shots all missed the mark for the tough-luck Hounds, who have now dropped five straight. Michael Speight and Matthew Kelly each produced 11 points in a losing cause for Assumption, which also saw Bryan Boehlert offer 10 in a reserve role. Bentley was outshot from the floor (50%-46%) but was perfect at the foul line (12-12 compared to AC’s 2-4).
SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE 72 STONEHILL 40
Daquaise Andrews turned in a 16-point, five-steal performance and Eamonn Joyce authored a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double as Southern New Hampshire smothered sagging Stonehill in Manchester, snapping a four-game slide and moving a full two games over their divisional rival for the fifth and final playoff spot in the division. Remo Simankevicius (11 points off the bench, 5-7 FG) and Shawn Montague (10 points, eight boards) also made their presences felt for the Penmen, who raced out to a 17-5 lead and effectively maintained it by halftime (35-24), never allowing their guests within single digits the balance of the ballgame as a 33-11 blitz when play resumed fleshed out the lead to 68-35. Only four players scored for the Skyhawks, with Michael Boen virtually shouldering the entire load himself, mustering 27 of his team’s 40 points for a new career high. SNHU was the superior shooting (53%-28%), 3-point shooting (9-18 to 4-25) and rebounding (42-27) team; the 40 points allowed representing its fewest since a 64-36 win over the same school on November 14, 2015.
FRANKLIN PIERCE 87 ST. MICHAEL’S 74
Ten of 11 players scored, led by Falu Seck’s career-high 28 points (10-17 FG), as Franklin Pierce downed St. Michael’s at the FPU Field House to remain in sole possession of fourth place. A 19-3 upswing – bookended by Jeremy Arthur triples – flipped a 42-40 deficit into a 59-45 lead with 13:36 to go, but the Purple Knights responded with nine unanswered to draw within 59-54 at the 11:04 juncture. It was 71-63 when a jumper and dunk by Doyin Fadojutimi (12 points, six rebounds) set in motion a 17-7 spell that put the game out of reach at 88-70 inside the final minute. Arthur logged 18 points (5-7 FG, 3-5 from downtown Rindge) for the Ravens, who were the more accurate shooters (51%-38%), especially from 3-point land (13-35 to 4-16), while dishing out more than twice as many assists (19-9). Levi Holmes III was high man for St. Mike’s with 30 points (3-5 from 3, 13-14 FT), followed by Derek Cheatom (17 points), Winston Jones II (13 points, 11 caroms) and Jordan Guzman (12 points).
JEFFERSON 78 DOMINICAN 71
The premier game in the penultimate weekend of CACC crossovers was a clash of divisional leaders in Philadelphia. Devaughn Mallory (26 points, 11-14 FG, nine rebounds) and Deondre Bourne (personal bests of 25 points and 11 rebounds) inflicted most of the pain as Jefferson hung on to edge Dominican for its region-best 11th consecutive victory. The Rams – who also received 11 points and five assists from Kylan Guerra – carved out a 33-21 advantage late in the opening period and were still ahead 38-28 early in the second before the Chargers fought back and sneaked in front, 53-52, on a Tavon Ginyard trey with 8:40 on the clock. The lead was short-lived, though, as Bourne was fouled 23 seconds later and sank both his free throws to put the hosts back in front. It was a 65-63 game with one minute showing when Mallory converted a traditional 3-point play, sparking a 9-2 spurt that made it 74-65 with 30 seconds to play, slamming the door. DJ Rodwell dropped 22 points (6-9 from 3) for Dominican, which also placed Ian Gardener (17 points in 40 minutes), Daniel Grant (14 points, four assists in reserve duty) and Ginyard (10 points) in doubles. Jefferson shot at a higher clip (54%-38%) and won the battle of the boards (36-26) despite being outscored 16-3 on second chances. The Chargers – now sharing the penthouse with Bloomfield – were more formidable from behind the 3-point line (11-27 to 5-14) and forced more turnovers (18-12) to remain close.
BLOOMFIELD 85 HOLY FAMILY 82
Across town, Bloomfield finally caught up with Dominican atop the CACC North after pulling out a heart-stopper vs. Holy Family at the Campus Center. Rich Chapman splashed the tie-breaking three with 2.3 seconds left, capping a 20-point, 13-rebound, four-assist game for the Bears, who have now captured four in a row. A 13-2 charge, capped by a Kavione Green tip-in, transformed a 50-49 deficit into a 62-52 lead for the visitors with 13:55 remaining, but the Tigers clawed their way back, equalizing at 76-76 on a dunk by Branden Aughburns (15 points, nine rebounds) at the 3:32 mark. Bloomfield pulled back in front, using another Green put-back at 3:15 to make it 82-78, but the hosts knotted the score yet again, thanks to back-to-back baskets by Patrick Robinson (21 points, six rebounds) that made it 82-82 with 24 seconds to go, setting up Chapman’s game-winner as Holy Family failed to get a shot off in the closing seconds. Both teams boasted five double-digit scorers, including all five Bears starters: Green (17 points, eight rebounds), Matt Lajeunesse (16, 14), Dontay Julius (15 points, four assists) and Kyle Washington (14, 5 in a homecoming game). Dymir Montague (13 points, five dishes), Kharon Randolph (12, 6) and Eric Esposito (12 points) did the honors for the third-place Tigers, who were outclassed on the glass (49-39), on second chances (19-6) and off turnovers (21-6). Both teams left a lot to be desired from beyond the arc (BC 9-31, HFU 7-28).
CALDWELL 72 CHESTNUT HILL 55
A.J. Kittles posted 18 points and 11 of his teammates tallied between two and eight in Caldwell’s blowout of Chestnut Hill in North Jersey – the fifth straight win for the third-place Cougars, who led from start to finish, bursting out of the gate with a 21-5 lead on the way to a 37-22 halftime cushion. A 23-9 open to the final frame padded the advantage to 60-31 after a hoop from Thomas Elliott-Smith (seven bench points) with 9:24 on the clock; never dipping below the 17-point final margin thereafter. Rookies Amir Warrick (14 points in a reserve outing) and Juston Bailey (12) were the bright spots for the Griffins, whose bench outscored the starting five (33-22) in falling for a 13th straight outing and being eliminated from playoff contention. Caldwell shot at a higher clip (42%-32%) in an ugly game that saw both sides combine for 49 turnovers (28 by CHC).
FELICIAN 90 WILMINGTON 72
Just down the road in Rutherford, Felician reached the .500 mark and stayed right on Caldwell’s heels after beating Wilmington going away, matching the program record (set just last week) with 17 long balls in 40 attempts (oddly, both teams finished with one more basket outside the arc than inside of it (WU was 14-38 from 3). A 28-6 second-half joyride, culminating in a Jay’von Jackson trifecta, widened a modest 55-50 lead to 83-56 with 6:35 to play, and the Golden Falcons never let their guests come any closer than the 18-point final spread the rest of the way, utilizing strong outings from Zamir Wright (18 points, five assists), Jackson (14 points, 3-5 from deep, seven rebounds, four assists), Aziz Parker (13 bench points, 4-5 from long range) and Mansfield Warren, Jr. (12 points, career-best nine caroms, five helpers), who converted all four of his trey tries. Jermaine Head fronted the Wildcats' attack with 19 points, eight rebounds and just as many assists. He was flanked by Danny Walsh (17 points, 7-10 FG, 3-5 from distance) and Jordan Harding (10 points, six rebounds). Felician was easily the better shooting (45%-36%), rebounding (53-33) and assisting (25-14) team, though the Cats scored twice as often off turnovers (22-11). Both teams hold down fourth place by relatively comfortable margins in their respective divisions.
GOLDEY-BEACOM 91 POST 69
The other Delaware school – Goldey-Beacom – appears primed for a playoff spot after running away from Post in the second half at the Jones Center Saturday evening, remaining a half-length ahead of Holy Family for second in the South. Corey Taite (four steals) exploded for 37 points (13-19 FG, 5-7 from downtown Pike Creek), including 11 over the last 2:45, while Marcellus Livingston (eight rebounds) and Kyle Elliot (six) each chipped in with 14 (the latter on 7-of-8 shooting) as the Lightning used a 20-4 spree over the final 4:44 to turn a 71-65 game into a 91-69 final, relegating a 38-37 halftime deficit into a mere footnote. Giovanni Jones added 11 for the victors, who were the more prolific shooters (58%-41%), especially from behind the 3-point line (8-16 to 4-19), while fashioning the stronger assist-turnover ratio (10/10 to 4/17) and capitalizing 24-13 off of miscues. Tyshon Rogers collected 23 points and seven rebounds to pace the Eagles, who enjoyed a 40-33 rebounding edge (14-4 on the offensive glass). Marcus Johnson (16 points, 6-9 FG, 10 rebounds) and Savion Boissard (12 points off the pine, 2-2 from long distance) offered noteworthy support in a losing cause.
DAEMEN 89 QUEENS 63
Daemen continues to be the lead dog in the ECC race, capping a weekend sweep downstate by torching Queens in Flushing on Sunday for its eighth straight win and impressive 14th in a row in conference road games dating back to last season. Andrew Sischo was once again front and center for the Wildcats, racking up 20 points (7-12 FG) and 13 rebounds as his team forged a 46-30 halftime bulge and kept the foot on the gas pedal throughout the second stanza, closing out the contest with nine unanswered to provide the exclamation point. Deion Hamilton (15 points on 7-of-10 shooting), Breon Harris (15 points, 9-9 FT) and Quinn Lee Yaw (13 off the bench) all played well for Daemen, which shot 60% after intermission and 53% for the game (QC was a dismal 33% overall) while dominating from the line (23-25 to 12-14), in the paint (42-18) and on the glass (45-28). The Wildcats were also more economical from threeville (6-12 to 9-31) as they delivered head coach Mike MacDonald his 100th victory at the school. Keenan Gorski sported 17 points (3-4 from 3) and seven rebounds to top the Knights’ ledger, while Wayne Li and Tyrese Crosdale each netted 11 in defeat. Queens is now tied with District of Columbia for the sixth and final ECC playoff berth. Coach MacDonald now has the rare distinction of winning at least 100 games at all three levels of NCAA hoops (Divisions I, II and III). What makes it rarer still is the fact that he has turned the trick IN THE SAME CITY with Canisius, Daemen and Medaille!
ROBERTS WESLEYAN 87 MOLLOY 83
Justin Vaughan led five in double figures with 20 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 from 3) as Roberts Wesleyan also completed a weekend sweep in the Metropolitan area, shading Molloy at Quealy Gym to tie idle Bridgeport for fourth place. A 29-8 tear erased an early 12-8 deficit and put the Redhawks in business at 35-20 after a pair of Jean Toussaint foul shots with seven minutes on the clock. The lead was 45-31 at halftime, but the Lions roared back after the restart with a 22-8 burst, equalizing at 53-53 on a Mike Torre jumper at the 11:43 mark. Roberts re-established a 60-53 upper hand approaching the midway mark of the second, but Molloy again slashed away at the deficit, eventually drawing even again at 78-78 on a free throw by Curtis Jenkins (17 points, 7-11 FG, 14 rebounds, five assists) with 52 seconds to go. Vaughan then took over the game, drilling the tiebreaking triple 13 seconds later, then coming up with a critical steal and two ensuing foul shots to provide the necessary insurance. Michael Bush (17 points, 5-7 FG, five assists), Peyton McLaurin (15, 5), Armen Nasseri (12 points in reserve duty) and Toussaint (10 points, 4-5 FG, six rebounds) all made key contributions for the Redhawks, who shot it better overall (56%-48%) and from long range (10-19 to 8-20), offsetting disparities on the boards (35-31), on second chances (19-6) and on the break (19-4). Both sides garnered positive assist-turnover lines (RWC 21/13, MC 17/13). Nick Corbett drove home 25 points (8-13 FG, 4-5 from deep) for Molloy, which also landed Torre (19 points, six caroms, four steals) and Justin Caldwell (13 points, five assists) in twin figures, though it wasn’t enough to salvage a lost weekend that neutralized the Lions’ Western New York sweep last month and knocked them from first place into a tie for second.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS 124 LIU POST 76
St. Thomas Aquinas reclaims a share of second after crushing LIU Post by 49 points in Sparkill, placing all 11 dressed players in the score column, including a whopping eight in double digits. Strange as it may seem, this was a 26-24 game with just over 12 minutes to play in the opening half before a bucket by Sekou Cisse (13 points, 6-8 FG, seven rebounds) triggered a 35-14 run to close the half with the hosts comfortably in front 61-38. It got uglier after the break, with the gap ballooning to as much as 51 points (118-67) as the Pioneers’ death march continued with a 20th defeat in as many outings this final season. Reserve rookies Marcus Stephens (seven rebounds), Kwabena Opoku (nine boards, 8-9 FG) and David Aikens (six caroms, seven assists) each tossed in 16 points for the Spartans, who padded their stats, especially in shooting (57%-45%), 3-point shooting (16-37 to 5-19), rebounding (49-19, including 18-2 offensive), second-chance scoring (25-0) and mistake points (28-5) as they crafted a spectacular 3:1 assist-turnover ratio (27/9 compared to LIUP’s 6/16). Zachary Rzewnicki (14 points, 4-5 from the outer limits), Grant Singleton (12 points, six boards off the bench), Kameron Murrell (10 points) and Osbel Caraballo (10 points, seven rebounds) rounded out the double-figure scorers for STAC, while Alonzo Ortiz-Traylor (32 points, 11-12 FG) and Kendell Ogilvie (18 points on 7-of-11 shooting) carried the torch for Post.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 83 NYIT 78
Kerry Kirkwood’s 3-pointer with 1:46 left snapped a 76-76 tie and helped District of Columbia complete a crazy rally vs. New York Institute of Technology at Recreation Hall for its fourth straight victory, annexing a share of the sixth and final playoff spot with Queens as a result. Much like their game at Mercy exactly one week earlier, the Firebirds were staring at a steep second-half deficit – in this case, a 54-32 hole early in the period – before unleashing a 39-16 barrage, nosing in front 71-70 on a Kevin Cox lay-up with 5:53 remaining and setting the stage for the big finish. Once again, a glitch in the NYIT stat system has made it impossible to detail any more of the action. What we can report is that Juanye Colon led five UDC players in double figures with 19 bench points. He was supported by Kirkwood (14 points), Cox (14 points, eight boards, three blocks), Zachary Olukanni (13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) and Danny Shand (12 points in a reserve role). Marcus Saint-Furcy cashed in 21 points (7-11 FG, 3-5 from downtown Old Westbury) and distributed five assists to lead the Bears, who also received noteworthy outings from Zahir Porter (20 points, 10-11 FT, six rebounds, four assists), Opong Bramble (14 points, 11 boards) and Kieran Hamilton (10 points). The Firebirds won despite being outshot (46%-36%) and outrebounded (52-49), although strangely, they dominated the offensive glass, 26-13. They won the game strictly due to a 25-10 turnover advantage.
CONCORDIA 80 SCIENCES 72
The senior quartet of Mike Demello (16 points, 4-8 from 3), Cedric McFadden (16 points, seven assists), Stephen Milhaven (15 points) and Jayson Cethoute (13 points, 5-7 FG, 3-5 from deep) did the heavy lifting for Concordia in its win over University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, remaining two games off the playoff pace in the improved CACC North. A 14-0 run early in the second half set the tone for this one as the Clippers eradicated a 50-46 deficit and gained the upper hand for good at 60-50, maintaining between a six and 11-point lead thereafter as the Devils offered little resistance. Paddy Casey (19 points, 7-11 FG, 3-6 from afar, four assists), Jordan White (personal-best 16 points, 4-5 FG, 3-4 from long range) and Brendan Crawford (12 points) were the top options for USciences, which shot a shade better (46%-45%), fared better at the foul line (15-19 to 7-10) and scored nearly twice as often off of mistakes (21-11), though it wasn’t enough to overcome an uncharacteristic rebounding shortfall (41-31, including 18-9 on the offensive end), leading to a lethal 21-6 deficiency in second-chance scoring.
GEORGIAN COURT 68 NYACK 67
Caleb Bowser generated 27 points (4-6 from beyond the arc), six rebounds and five assists as Georgian Court rallied to nip Nyack at the Wellness Center, eliminating the Warriors from playoff contention. Bowser’s jumper with 1:59 to go gave the Lions the lead for keeps at 68-67 and actually closed out the scoring as Matt Ringel dominated on defense down the stretch, rejecting two shots on Nyack’s next possession, then coming up with another swat with less than a second on the clock – his career-best seventh blocked shot of the game to go along with 13 points and eight boards. Still, Jordan Rodriguez got off a potential winning 3-pointer, though it was off the mark, consigning his club to an eighth consecutive setback. Bryce Council cranked out 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Georgian Court, which fell behind 30-16 before engineering a 24-5 uprising over the final 7:16 of the first half to enter the locker room with a 40-35 upside. The led swelled to 56-45 on a Ringel lay-up with 12:35 on the clock before the Warriors orchestrated an 18-6 run, edging in front 63-62 on an inside hoop from Jah-Meer McDuffie (14 points) with 3:37 showing. That would be the first of six lead changes in the waning moments as the hosts would prevail for the second straight game – the first such occurrence this campaign. Curtis Thompson was magnificent for Nyack with 27 points (11-19 FG), four assists and four steals, as his team held slim advantages in the shooting (41%-39%) and rebounding (40-39) departments, while also scoring more often off turnovers (24-13). The Lions were much more proficient from downtown Lakewood (9-26 to 3-17).