WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore Miles Tention (Palo Alto, Calif.) of the Saint Anselm College men's basketball team notched a game-high total of 19 points to help the Hawks win their season-opening game, 83-69, over Concordia (N.Y.) College at the Bentley Tip-Off Classic.
The Hawks, ranked 12th in NCAA Division II by D2SIDA and 21st according to the National Association of Basketball Coaches, moves to 1-0 on the young season. The Clippers fall to 0-1 in their season opener with both teams returning to action on Saturday to conclude tournament play.
Saint Anselm will play first-time opponent Wilmington (Del.) on Saturday to conclude the Bentley Tip-Off Classic at 5 p.m.
Tention logged 19 points and was 6-for-9 from the floor in the victory. Senior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom) was responsible for 16 points with a team-leading seven assist. He was followed by 14 points from junior Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) and his 14 points with five rebounds. Classmate Alonzo Jackson (Medford, Mass.) tallied 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Head Coach Keith Dickson, in his 34th season on the Hilltop, won the 644th game of his career on Friday. Among coaches affiliated with a present-day Northeast-10 Conference institution, Dickson passes long-time Saint Rose coach Brian Beaury and his 643 career coaching victories. The long-time Saint Anselm bench boss was already the league's all-time leader in victories within the NE10.
With the game tied at 15 with 12:44 to go in the first half, the Hawks took charge with 12 consecutive points and never looked back. In that strong offensive stretch, freshman Matt Relihan (Lynnfield, Mass.) poured home his first collegiate points on a three-point basket and Tention capped the run with a trey of his own.
The Hawks first-half lead grew to 17 points with 8:20 to go thanks to a layup from junior Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark). Saint Anselm led by as many as 21 points in the first half as back-to-back free throws from sophomore Joey Belli (Wayne, N.J.) created the advantage with 5:09 to go. The Clippers snipped the Hawks lead to 13 as the first half expired.
Concordia would not go away quietly, using a 10-point scoring run of their own early in the second half to cut the Saint Anselm lead to five points, 56-51, with 14:54 to go. Saint Anselm kept Concordia at arm's length throughout regulation time, upping its lead from seven points with 3:06 to go to as much as 14 with two late free throws from Tention in the final 30 seconds.
The Hawks enjoyed a distinct advantage in paint points (42-to-28) and also scored 20 points off of Concordia miscues. The Clippers were led by 19 points from Brandon Fields.