- Score: No. 4 Saint Anselm 78, Assumption 70
- Records: Saint Anselm (11-1, 7-0 NE10), Assumption (5-9, 1-6 NE10)
- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Laska Gym)
- The Lead: Assumption let a first-half lead slip away in the final minutes of the period and trailed by just six points with four minutes left in regulation, but fourth-ranked Saint Anselm held on to capture a 78-70 victory on Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Assumption jumped out to a 5-2 lead on a Michael Speight (Morningside, Md. / Wise / Canterbury) triple and pushed the advantage to 9-5 on a pair of free throws at 16:20. Saint Anselm answered back, before four straight from the Hounds stretched their lead to 15-8 with 14:48 left in the period. A shot from downtown by Bryan Boehlert (Gaithersburg, Md. / Magruder) at 11:07 extended the advantage to 20-12.
- A 7-2 run by Saint Anselm closed the gap to 22-19, but Cal Connelly (Rochester, N.H. / Spaulding / Tilton) countered with a three for a six-point advantage and led 27-20 with five minutes left in the period. The Hawks countered 13 straight points to grab a 33-27 lead with 1:13 left and took a 35-30 advantage into the half.
- Saint Anselm pushed their lead to ten points 3:30 into the second and extended it to 12 before a 5-0 spurt by the Hounds closed it to 47-40 at 14:16. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes, before four straight from Assumption closed the gap to 55-49 with 9:27 remaining.
- They went back-and-forth, though the Hawks were able to eventually stretch their lead to 12, 65-53, with 6:16 left. Matthew Kelly (North Potomac, Md. / Quince Orchard) converted a three-point play to jumpstart a 6-0 run and trail only 65-59 with 4:50 remaining. Assumption was able to close within six on a layup in the final minute, but Saint Anselm made its free throws late to escape with the eight-point victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Assumption shot 45.8 percent from the floor and was 5-for-18 from downtown, while Saint Anselm made 54.0 percent of its field goal attempts and was 7-for-16 from beyond the arc. The Hawks held a slight rebounding edge (33-26) and committed three fewer turnovers (10-7) in the contest..
- Kelly scored a team-high 21 points with four rebounds and three assists while Speight poured in a career-high 20 points with two rebounds. Damien Rance (Melbourne, Australia / Pope John XXIII) posted seven points, nine rebounds and four assists while Boehlert scored seven points off the bench.
- Tim Guers led Saint Anselm with 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Gustav Suhr-Jessen added 19 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
- Assumption returns to action on Jan. 9 when the team hosts Adelphi at 7:30 p.m.