First Half Surge Sends #9 Saint Anselm Past Stonehill, 70-52

Senior Sam Markle matched his career-high with 13 points in his final collegiate game tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Skyhawks season draws to a close as Hawks clinch regular season title

MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 26, 2013) – Saint Anselm College, ranked ninth in this week's NABC Division II poll, used a late first half surge to key a 70-52 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Stoutenburg Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) led a balanced Saint Anselm effort with a game-high 14 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting from the field while converting 4-of-6 free-throws to go with three rebounds and two steals. Junior Dino Mallios (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) was the only other Hawk in double-figures with 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Freshman Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y./Clarkstown South) added eight points, seven boards and three assists, while junior John Nielsen (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Loomis Chaffee) and freshman Victor Joshua (New Haven, Conn./Hamden Hall) each chipped in nine points off the bench.

Senior Sam Markle (Branford, Conn./Saint Thomas More) led three Stonehill players in double-figures with a career-high matching 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 1-for-3 from three-point range, five rebounds and two steals. Classmate Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) added 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-6 from deep, and two boards, while sophomore Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) contributed ten points, eight boards and four assists.

Senior Adam Fazzini finished with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Saint Anselm shot 40.7-percent (24-for-59) from the field, including 48% (12-25) in the second half, and 70.8% (17-24) from the free-throw line, but was 5-for-17 (29.4%) from three-point range. The Hawks posted a 45-32 rebounding advantage, pulling down 15 offensive boards to outscore Stonehill 14-6 in second chance points, and the bench outscored the Skyhawks reserves 35-7. Stonehill shot 37.3% (22-59) from the field, including 48.3% (14-29) in the second half, but was just 8-30 (26.7%) from the floor in the first half as the Skyhawks missed all eight three-point attempts. The Skyhawks were outscored 17-3 at the free-throw line, converting 3-of-4 attempts.

Saint Anselm never trailed, scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the contest and staked out an 11 point lead (15-4) eight minutes into the game after four straight points from Santo. Stonehill scored six straight points to close within five (15-10) after a basket by Fazzini with 9:18 remaining in the half, but Saint Anselm pushed the lead back to ten (20-10) when Joshua was fouled shooting a three-pointer and converted all three tries from the free-throw line with 6:45 remaining.

Santo put Saint Anselm in front by 12 (24-12) with 4:53 on the clock. Stonehill drew back within nine (26-17) with a Cole layup, but the Hawks scored the final ten points of the half to carry a 19 point (36-17) lead into halftime. Nielsen drained two three-pointers during the final 3:24.

Stonehill cut its deficit to 14 (40-26) on a Markle three 2:15 into the second half and was able to close within ten (51-41) after a Markle jumper with nine minutes remaining. Saint Anselm held there and used an 11-0 run to open a game-high 21 point lead (64-43) after a Mallios jumper with 4:15 left to seal the victory.

Stonehill sees its 2012-13 season draw to a close with an 11-15 record overall, including a 7-15 mark in NE-10 play. Saint Anselm (22-4, 18-4 NE-10) clinches the NE-10 regular season championship with the win and will host an NE-10 Tournament quarterfinal on Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

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