Men's Basketball Falls to Regionally-Ranked Southern Connecticut State, 71-68

Men's Basketball Falls to Regionally-Ranked Southern Connecticut State, 71-68

COLCHESTER, Vt. - A game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer hit front rim as the Saint Michael's College men's basketball team lost a close 71-68 decision to regionally-ranked Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play in the Ross Sports Center. The Owls were eighth in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll.

RECORDS

  • Saint Michael's (5-14, 2-12 NE10), Southern Connecticut State (14-8, 9-5 NE10)

SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS

  • Junior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 16 points, 7 assists (0 turnovers), 6 rebounds, 7-for-12 field goals
  • Senior Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y./Park School of Buffalo), 15 points, 3 blocks, 3-for-7 three-pointers
  • Senior Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep), 13 points
  • Senior Winston Jones II (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central), 12 points, 5-for-7 field goals
  • Sophomore Alvi Rodriguez (Madrid, Spain/La Salle Maravillas), 6 rebounds

OPPONENT LEADERS

  • Senior Isaiah McLeod, 28 points, 6-for-11 three-pointers
  • Senior Kealan Ives, 15 points, 10 assists
  • Sophomore C.J. Seaforth, 15 points
  • Senior Luke Beesley, 9 rebounds

GAME FACTS

  • Nine of the Purple Knights' last 10 games have been decided by nine points or fewer.
  • Saint Michael's, which played only five of its last 13 games at home since November, played its first of four home games in 19 days.
  • The Purple Knights committed only nine turnovers and shot 11-of-11 on free throws.
  • Saint Michael's limited Southern Connecticut State to its fewest points in NE10 play this season, and well below its season average of 83.6, which was good for second in the league.
  • Nine of the past 11 series meetings have been decided by 10 points or less.
  • The teams combined for seven lead changes and seven ties.

THE ACTION

  • Guzman played a hand in each of the Purple Knights' first 14 points, helping his team forge a 14-10 edge by 14:06 of the first half thanks to netting the first five Saint Michael's points then dishing on three-pointers by Holmes, junior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) and Cheatom.
  • Seaforth scored five points in a 9-2 run that put the Owls in front by a 22-18 count.
  • The Purple Knights later countered with a 9-0 stretch, with Saint Michael's taking the lead when Rodriguez went on the floor for a loose ball and passed to Cheatom, whose outlet pass found a streaking Jones for a breakaway dunk. The hosts led 32-27 with 4:35 to go.
  • Southern Connecticut State twice rallied to tie, but Guzman's jumper at 2:23 made it 36-34, and the hosts carried a 40-38 edge into the locker room.
  • Back-to-back buckets by McLeod capped a 7-0 Owl run to make it 45-42 by 16:55 of the second half, and by the time he canned a three followed by another jumper at 13:03, Southern Connecticut State had scored 18 of 24 points in a 5:05 span to lead 56-48.
  • Guzman found Cheatom for a triple before converting a tying three-point play with 9:01 left, forcing a 58-all knot.
  • The Owls scored the next five points and ballooned their cushion back to as many as seven points (69-62) with 3:14 left.
  • Jones made a pair of free throws with 2:58 left before Guzman's lay-in at 1:56 cut the deficit to 69-66.
  • Ives responded with a lay-up with 1:27 remaining, but the Owls missed the front end of a one-and-one with 47 seconds left and Holmes drove for a lay-up at 38.9 to make it 71-68.
  • Saint Michael's allowed Southern Connecticut State to run offense on its final possession, and Cheatom blocked a shot at 14 seconds, with Rodriguez snagging the defensive board to give the hosts a chance to tie.
  • On a final inbounds play in front of the Purple Knight bench with less than four seconds remaining, a triple-teamed Holmes found a teammate open in the right corner for a clean look at a tying three, but the ball hit the front of the rim and bounced over the cylinder at the buzzer.

NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME

  • Wednesday vs. Southern New Hampshire University, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Purple Knights will partner with Hope Happens Here to host a Mental Health Awareness Game.