ALBANY, N.Y. – Avenging last season's loss in the NCAA Division II Tournament to the Golden Knights, the nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's basketball team picked up a 92-82 victory over the College of Saint Rose on Wednesday at the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium.
Saint Anselm, ranked 20th in all of NCAA Division II by the National Basketball Coaches' Association, improves to 16-3 overall on the year, having won 12-of-14 games against Northeast-10 Conference opponents to date. The Hawks are also ranked 18th in the country by the D2SIDA National Media Poll. The Golden Knights fall to 8-12 overall and to 5-8 versus league opponents.
Sophomore Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) posted a team-best 22 points and 11 rebounds, followed by a 20-point showing by senior Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.), who also handed out a team-leading seven assists. Junior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom) posted 16 points with sophomore Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark) capping the game with 14 points.
Senior Cody Ball (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Miles Tention (Palo Alto, Calif.) each scored nine points in the winning effort. Ball and Evans finished the game with seven rebounds apiece with Suhr-Jessen picking up six caroms.
Guers exited play on Wednesday with 2,062 career points, needing only 20 points to become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Saint Anselm men's basketball program. He currently ranks 11th all-time in NE10 history and would leap to eighth all-time in team history upon reaching the top of the team's career scoring list.
Saint Anselm connected on six of their first nine three-point attempts in the game, forcing a Saint Rose timeout after the Hawks built a 10-point lead, 30-20, with under eight minutes left in the first half. Saint Anselm built a modest 11-10 lead but a strong stretch of play, sparked by a 7-for-9 performance from the floor, was the foundation for the squad's first double-digit lead of the game.
At one point in the first half, the Hawks had made seven of their last eight three-point baskets and used a 9-2 run to create a 42-29 lead with 4:04 left in the first half. In that span, Paul was 4-for-5 from the floor and Suhr-Jessen was a perfect 4-for-4. After the time-out, the Hawks scored two more points on an Evans jumper just inside the arc, boosting the lead to 15 points with 3:06 to go.
Saint Anselm finished the first half by making 20 of its first 32 baskets for a 62.5% field goal percentage. The Hawks also poured home seven of their first 11 shots from beyond the arc, limiting the Golden Knights to only four made treys out of 12 attempts. The visitors also owned a commanding 20-to-10 edge in overall rebounding through the first 20 minutes.
Saint Rose came out of the locker room making six of its first eight field goals, but Evans went 4-for-5 from the floor to keep the Hawks lead to double-digits in the first five minutes of second half play. Saint Rose turned the tables on the Hawks perimeter shooters to start the second as the Hawks missed their first six shots from beyond the arc.
The Golden Knights cut the Saint Anselm lead to 72-65 with 7:55 remaining, shooting 62.5% in the first 12:05 of the second half while limiting the Hawks shooters to only a 38.1% field goal percentage (8-for-21). Saint Rose did not relent, forcing a Saint Anselm timeout after the hosts connected on a three-pointer within the ensuing minute, reducing the guests' lead to 72-68 with 7:13 to go.
Another triple shrunk the Saint Anselm margin to one point, 72-71, capping a 17-5 scoring run by Saint Rose with under 6:30 left. After back-to-back free throw makes by Suhr-Jessen, Guers helped steady the ship with a three-point basket with 5:23 to go. His trey came in the midst of a 9-0 run that helped put the game away, thwarting the late rally by the Golden Knights.
Saint Anselm finished with the decisive edge in overall rebounding, 35-to-24, and shot 53.3% from the field (32-for-60). The Golden Knights made 12 three-point baskets and were led by a 17-point performance by Michael Wearne.
The Hawks host Franklin Pierce on Wednesday, Feb. 6, welcoming the Ravens to Stoutenburgh Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.