MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team's late furious rally fell short on Tuesday, as the Purple Knights completed their season with a 65-51 loss at Southern New Hampshire University in the SNHU Fieldhouse. The Purple and Gold completed the season 8-18 overall and 5-17 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the postseason-bound Penmen moved to 16-10 and 12-10.
In becoming the 48th Purple Knight to appear in 100 career games, senior Derek Knutty (Rocklin, Calif./Whitney) posted 11 points and 15 rebounds in his final college contest, with 10 boards coming on the offensive end alone. Sophomore James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla./The Winchendon School) added 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, finishing the winter with the seventh-highest rejection total in school annals (43) and moving into a tie for seventh in career blocks (85) with Todd Roberts '01.
Sophomore Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y./Christ The King Regional) pulled down a career-high 15 boards to go along with nine points and three assists, as Saint Michael's forged a 48-35 advantage on the class. First-year Greg Grippo (Edison, N.J./Rutgers Prep) turned in 12 points, and senior John Reiser (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) had a pair of steals.
First-year Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J./Linden/Saint Thomas More) went 4-of-6 from three-point range to score 16 points and record five assists for Southern New Hampshire. Sophomore BJ Cardarelli (Manchester, Conn./East Catholic/Saint Thomas More) added 14 points, and junior Mike Stys (Hooksett, N.H./Manchester Central/New Haven) netted 12.
Thompson scored three of his team's first five points, giving the Purple Knights a 5-3 edge prior to Southern New Hampshire scoring the next seven points. After Cambronne buried a three-pointer at 14:27 of the opening half to make it 10-8, the hosts scored the next five points, but Grippo rattled off the ensuing four, including hitting a triple to bring Saint Michael's within 15-12 at 12:24. However, the Penmen scored 27 of the next 34 points during a run that bridge halftime, aided by starting the game 5-of-8 from three.
After trailing by a 42-19 count early in the second stanza, the visitors used a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to 14 by 16:38, with Grippo scoring the final seven points to create a 42-28 score. Southern New Hampshire responded with 17 of the next 21 points, with Knutty dropping in two free throws and Reiser collecting a bucket to account for the Purple Knight points, before Saint Michael's went on a 19-6 run to end the game. Cambronne had nine points in that stretch, while Thompson added six and Knutty netted four.