EASTON, Mass. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's basketball team cruised to a 87-63 victory over Stonehill College on Tuesday at Merkert Gymnasium.
Saint Anselm, ranked 18th in NCAA Division II by the National Association of Basketball Coaches according to its most recent poll released on Tuesday, improves to 22-4 overall and to 18-3 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. The Hawks equaled a program record with 18 regular-season wins against league foes, originally set during the 2012-13 campaign.
Winners of the NE10 Regular Season Championship, the Hawks have earned a first round bye and will host a quarterfinal-round game on Sunday, Mar. 3 against the winner of Friday's First Round tilt between Southern Connecticut State and Stonehill. More information about the game, including a comprehensive preview, will be posted on SaintAnselmHawks.com closer to game time.
Senior Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) scored 24 points alongside eight rebounds and six assists and a team-best two steals. Junior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom) and sophomore Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) each scored 17 points and sophomore Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark) picked up seven rebounds for the Hawks. Paul finished the day with 370 points, eclipsing last season's total of 365.
Down by a 14-13 margin, a three-pointer by Paul catapulted the Hawks into the lead by two points with 13:49 to go in the first half. The Hawks would score the game's next seven points, increasing its lead to nine points and forcing a Stonehill timeout with 10:49 remaining. Later in the half, Ball's back-to-back triples with under 2:30 left created a 16-point bulge for Saint Anselm.
A late layup by Evans, who finished with exactly 250 points on the season, boosted the Hawks to a 20-point lead at halftime, 47-27. Saint Anselm controlled the paint with 24 points coming under the rim and shot over 58% from the floor, making 18 of its first 31 shots. The major difference in the stat sheet between both programs was overall rebounding as the Hawks earned 21 of the game's 33 loose balls.
Saint Anselm carried a 15-point scoring run into the second half, creating a game-high lead of 25 points with a Guers jumper in the paint at 17:29. Near the midpoint of the second stanza, the Hawks capped an 11-point scoring run with a dunk from sophomore Alonzo Jackson (Medford, Mass.). Owning a 69-43 lead at that point with 8:40 to go, the Hawks held off Stonehill for an 87-63 final.
The Hawks finished the game shooting 55% from the floor, making 33-of-60 shots, while hitting eight three-point baskets and missing only two of their 15 shots from the charity stripe. The Hawks owned the 37-to-27 edge in rebounding and dominated the paint, scoring 46 points under the basket.
Stonehill was led by 23 points from Owen Chose.