NYACK, N.Y. - Five players scored at least a dozen points, and the Saint Michael's College men's basketball team moved to 9-2 with a 91-72 victory against Nyack (N.Y.) College on Saturday in Bowman Gymnasium. The Purple Knights reached the nine-win plateau before Christmas for just the second time in the last 94 years, joining the 1998-99 squad, while the Warriors fell to 3-7 during the teams' first meeting. Saint Michael's now breaks for winter vacation until January.
The Purple Knights shot 57.1 percent, including 10-of-21 from three-point range, and 17-of-21 on free throws while holding a 42-24 rebounding advantage. Junior James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla./The Winchendon School) had 18 points with five rebounds, while classmates Mike Holton Jr. (Portland, Ore./The Winchendon School) and Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y./Christ The King Regional) each posted 17 points, with Thompson matching his career high in the process. Holton shot 6-for-6 on free throws, and Thompson was 6-of-7 from the field while grabbing eight rebounds. Junior Corey Crawford II (Dover, Del./The Phelps School) posted 14 points, five boards and four assists, and classmate Dom Ditlefsen (Portland, Ore./Sunset) had 12 points and three helpers. First-year Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point) totaled eight points, 10 rebounds - including five offensive - and two steals off the bench.
Junior Chris Hampton (Queens, N.Y./Princeton Day Academy) had a game-high 24 points for Nyack, shooting 4-of-7 from three-point range while adding five assists and two steals. Classmate Nick Moore (Sicklerville, N.J./Camden County CC) contributed 19 points and seven rebounds, six of which were offensive, but no other Warrior had more than six points or three rebounds.
In the second stanza, the Purple Knights shot 61.5 percent to Nyack's 34.3 percent while extending upon a 46-41 halftime and slowly pulling away. Saint Michael's scored 17 of the first 26 points in the second half, with six coming from Cambronne, as the Purple and Gold yielded only three field goals - all from beyond the arc - in the opening 6:52 en route to grabbing a 63-50 advantage on Crawford's jumper at 13:30. Nyack never again trailed by fewer than 11, with the visitors extending their lead to as many as 22 twice in the final two minutes of the game.
Moore scored four of his team's first six points, and Nyack led 6-5 just 1:26 into the contest before Saint Michael's responded with the next 13 points to take the lead for good. Thompson scored the first five points in the run, Holton added the next five, and Cambronne buried a three-pointer at 15:44 of the opening half to make it 18-6. After Nyack trimmed its deficit to seven points on three occasions, Saint Michael's utilized a 12-4 run to push its advantage to 41-26 at 4:12, with sophomore Will Davis (Valley Stream, N.Y./Holy Cross) scoring his team's final five points. However, the Warriors scored 11 of the half's final 12 points to edge within 46-41 by intermission.
Saint Michael's begins 2014 by hosting three straight Northeast-10 Conference contests, first opposing Stonehill College on Jan. 4 at 3:30 p.m.