COLCHESTER, Vt. - Le Moyne College first-year Eriq Jenkins' breakaway lay-in beat the buzzer on Wednesday evening, as the Saint Michael's College men's basketball team fell to the visiting Dolphins, 74-72, in the Ross Sports Center during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights, who overcame a 13-point deficit to forge a late tie, slipped to 3-13 overall and 1-10 in the league, while the Dolphins are 6-10 and 4-7.
First-year Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep) netted a career-high 21 points with two steals behind a 6-of-8 three-point performance during the Purple and Gold's first game in eight days. Junior Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point) collected 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 10 rebounds and two assists to notch his Division II-leading 12th double-double, tying Brian Monahan '08 (2006-07) for the most by a Purple Knight since the 1989-90 season. It was also the 20th of his career, as he is now just the sixth player in the program to reach that plateau since full rebound records became available in 1981-82.
Senior Greg Grippo (Edison, N.J./Rutgers Prep) had one of the best lines of his career, turning in 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with six assists - to just two turnovers - three blocks and a steal. By knocking down two three-pointers, he pushed his career total to 144, breaking a tie with Ben Smith '04 for 11th in school annals. First-year Winston Jones II (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central) provided a boost off the bench with a career-high 11 points, snagging three offensive boards for the second straight game. He shot 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 on free throws. Junior Zaire Williams (Paterson, N.J./Newark Academy) handed out a career-high assist total for the second straight game, dishing nine versus only three turnovers.
For the game, Saint Michael's shot 54.5 percent from the floor, including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, and committed just 11 giveaways. Le Moyne had only nine turnovers and shot 50.0 from the field.
Jenkins and senior Qwadere Lovell both notched 18 points for the Dolphins, with Jenkins coming up with four steals and three assists while shooting 4-of-8 from deep, and Lovell notching six helpers. Sophomore Tanner Hyland added nine points, and classmate Daniel Kaigler had eight points, six boards and four blocks.
In a 72-all game, Holmes came up with a steal with 1:24 remaining, and the teams traded possessions during which they both missed two shots. After a timeout with a little less than five seconds to go, Saint Michael's inbounded on the far sideline, where Jenkins came up with a strip and broke free toward the hoop, narrowly releasing his winning lay-up before the final horn sounded.
Saint Michael's began the game shooting 8-of-10, with each make a two-point field goal, but never led during that time thanks to Le Moyne eventually starting 10-for-14, including 7-of-10 from deep. The hosts saw a 12-6 hole erased thanks to Bonds assisting Grippo's jumper before dropping in a pair of buckets himself, knotting the contest at 14:23 of the opening half, but Lovell scored seven points in a 15-2 run, and the Dolphins led 29-16.
Still down 10, the Purple Knights trimmed their deficit to four thanks to a 6-0 run during which Jones produced four points and Bonds blocked a three-pointer before rushing to the other end for a breakaway dunk. After Le Moyne took a 41-35 edge into the locker room and extended its advantage to nine on a Lovell three 19 seconds into the second half, Holmes hit a pair of triples in a 13-6 run, and the hosts were down 50-48.
Another Holmes trey kept Saint Michael's within 59-57 at 9:31 before the Dolphins pushed their lead back to seven, but Holmes buried his second and third threes in a matter of 3:27 to make it 64-63, and the hosts continued to trail by no more than two possessions. With his team facing a 72-67 deficit, Grippo buried a three at 3:04 before feeding Bonds for a tying lay-in with 1:43 to go, setting up the big finish.
The Purple Knights head to The College of Saint Rose on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. contest.