MANCHESTER, N.H. - In a match-up between a pair of regionally-ranked Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball teams, Saint Michael's College lost to Saint Anselm College, 97-76, in Stoutenburgh Gymnasium on Wednesday evening. The Purple Knights, who are sixth in the latest D2SIDA East Region Media Poll and had won six of their previous seven games, are 15-7 overall and 11-6 in the league. The seventh-place Hawks are 15-6 and 12-5, having now won six of seven contests. Saint Anselm qualified for the past two NCAA Tournaments.
In his 100th career game, senior Corey Crawford II (Dover, Del./The Phelps School) had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Purple Knights, shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range, while classmate Mike Holton Jr. (Portland, Ore./The Winchendon School) notched 13 points, five boards, four assists and two steals. Senior James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla./The Winchendon School) had nine points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals in his 100th game, and sophomore Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point) collected nine points and seven caroms off the bench. Senior Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y./Christ The King Regional) shot 4-of-5 for nine points.
Saint Michael's held a 41-36 rebounding advantage, but Saint Anselm shot 16-of-31 from three-point range to the Purple Knights' nine made threes, with that 21-point difference identical to the final scoring margin. The visitors outshot the hosts during the second stanza, 47.1 percent to 42.9 percent.
Senior Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East/Vermont) paced Saint Anselm with 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while junior Ryan Hartung (Haverhill, Mass./Phillips Andover) scored 19 points off the bench thanks to 5-of-8 three-point shooting. Senior Mark Schulze (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex Regional) was 5-of-6 from deep while notching 17 points, five assists and three steals, and sophomore Harrison Taggart (Wallingford, Vt./Saint Paul's School/Vermont) was 4-of-9 from beyond the arc on his way to 12 points, six rebounds and five helpers.
Cambronne's dunk 39 seconds into the game provided the lone tie of the night, 2-2, before Santo scored the next four points and Taggart hit a three to cap a 7-0 run. Crawford responded with a triple before Cambronne's free throw created a 9-6 game, but Saint Anselm scored the next seven points to grab a 16-6 advantage. After Holton scored five straight points to conclude a 6-2 run that brought his team within 18-12, the Hawks later pushed their lead to 13 when Santo and Schulze hit triples 24 seconds apart, and Saint Michael's never again chipped the deficit to single digits.
Thompson's lay-in kept the visitors within 30-20 at 10:13 before Saint Anselm pulled away with a 25-9 run on the strength of six three-pointers. Crawford scored the final five points of the half to make it 58-37 at halftime, and Bonds hit a jumper at 13:36 of the second half to create a 69-54 hole, but the Hawks used a 22-7 stretch to put their lead at 91-61. Four Purple Knights scored in an ensuing 11-0 run, with sophomore David Sullivan's (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./Saint Augustine Prep) triple pulling his team within 91-72 at 3:17, but Saint Michael's came no closer.
The Purple Knights head to Bentley University on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. game.