January 19, 2013

Saint Michael's limits seventh foe to 60 points or less, earns 62-55 victory at AIC

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak behind a 62-55 victory over American International College on Saturday in Butova Gymnasium. The Purple Knights improved to 5-10 overall and 2-9 in the Northeast-10 Conference by holding their seventh opponent to 60 points or less, while the Yellow Jackets are also 5-10 and 2-9.

Sophomore Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y./Christ The King Regional) had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, while adding two blocks. Classmate James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla./The Winchendon School) shot 5-of-7 en route to 12 points, senior Derek Knutty (Rocklin, Calif./Whitney) had nine points on a 4-of-5 showing in 19 minutes, and sophomore Corey Crawford II (Dover, Del./The Phelps School) turned in nine points, a game-high eight rebounds and four assists. Classmate Dom Ditlefsen (Portland, Ore./Sunset) notched five assists to zero turnovers. Saint Michael's shot 47.1 percent and committed just five turnovers.

Senior Ricky Hudson (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) paced AIC with 14 points to go along with six rebounds, while junior Janek Schmidkunz (Berlin, Germany/ALBA Berlin) shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc to account for 12 points. Junior Spencer Braithwaite (Dorchester, Mass./Madison Park/Massasoit CC) added nine points and five helpers. The Yellow Jackets fired off 37 three-point attempts, compared to just 18 inside the arc.

The lead changed hands 10 times during the contest, and Saint Michael's parlayed 13 forced turnovers into a 15-2 advantage in giveaways. A Schmidkunz three put AIC ahead by a 9-4 count at 16:25 of the opening half, providing the hosts with their largest advantage, before the Purple Knights later went on a 7-0 charge to grab a 21-17 lead with 5:25 remaining in the half on Ditlefsen's triple. The teams exchanged four leads in a later 2:36 stretch, with Cambronne's lay-up at 1:58 giving Saint Michael's the final lead of period. It led 28-25 at the half.

AIC notched a 7-0 run to forge back in front, 35-34, at 13:19 of the second half, but Knutty's bucket 29 seconds later gave the Purple Knights the lead for good, and an 8-0 run during which three players scored put the visitors ahead by a 52-42 count with 5:45 remaining. The Yellow Jackets never got closer than six points down the stretch, as Saint Michael's led by as many as 11 points.

The Purple Knights heads to the University of New Haven on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. game.

The Edmundite Catholic Liberal Arts College