MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's basketball team used a three-point, buzzer-beating, game-tying desperation heave from junior Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) to force overtime where the Hawks downed Franklin Pierce University by a 100-94 margin on Saturday.
Saint Anselm, ranked 14th in NCAA Division II, improves to 4-1 overall on the season and to 2-0 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Franklin Pierce drops to 2-2 on the year, losing its NE10 opener. The Hawks head to Southern New Hampshire on Tuesday, Nov. 26 for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Paul's game-tying trey was the highlight of a career night where he scored 26 points alongside a career-high 18 rebounds. Freshman Tyler Arbuckle (Bristol, Conn.) had 26 points as well, pulling down four rebounds, with sophomore Joey Belli (Wayne, N.J.) shattering his career-high mark for points with 18 to his credit alongside a team-leading four steals.
Senior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom), playing in his 100th career college basketball game, scored 10 points and junior Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark) tacked on 12 points and nine rebounds in the winning effort. The Hawks were outshot from the floor in the contest, but the team combined to post 21 free throws out of 23 trips to the charity stripe.
In a game that featured 11 tied scores and 14 lead changes, the Hawks trailed by four points with 15 seconds to go in regulation time. With a Ravens player at the line shooting two shots, Paul was able to gather the second shot miss and carry the ball up the right side. Heading toward the three-point line, Paul eluded the reach of a Ravens hand and threw the ball toward the hoop for the game-tying shot.
Evans opened the overtime period with a three-point basket and the Hawks never looked back, scoring 11 of the stanza's first 17 points and building a six-point lead as time expired. Belli buried back-to-back free throws as time expired, giving Saint Anselm its first 100-point game of the season.
The Hawks opened the game on a 14-3 scoring run as Arbuckle and Belli posted three-point baskets in the early goings to create an 11-point lead with 16:14 left on the first-half clock. Franklin Pierce stunned the host Hawks with a 27-8 scoring span that crossed over seven minutes of game play near the midpoint of the half, creating a 30-22 lead with 8:51 to go.
Saint Anselm used a 10-point run of its own, taking a slim two-point lead with 4:35 left in the first half, before Franklin Pierce scored 16 of the game's next 21 points to build a 46-37 lead shortly into the second half of play.
The Hawks would cut into the Ravens lead on several occasions, tying the game three times as time expired in regulation time. Franklin Pierce saw its lead slip away with seven missed free throws in the second half alone.
Franklin Pierce was led by 40 points from Doyin Fadojutimi who also had six rebounds, three steals and as many assists.