MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College men's basketball team overcame a five-point deficit with under two minutes left, downing Thomas Jefferson University by a 71-70 margin on Sunday at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
With both teams receiving votes in the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Poll, the Hawks moved to 6-3 overall on the year. Jefferson drops to 7-2 on the season, losing their first contest of the season in regulation.
Sunday's game featured two of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division II history as Jefferson, piloted by Herb Magee in his 53rd season, has won over 1,100 games during his tenure. The Hawks, guided by Keith Dickson in his 34th season, have logged 649 wins since the 1986-87 campaign.
Senior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom) had the game-winning basket with 3.2 seconds left in regulation time, finishing with 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Junior Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) had a game-high 25 points for the Hawks, finishing the day with 999 career points to his credit.
Freshman Tyler Arbuckle (Bristol, Conn.) had 12 points, making two three-point baskets, and matching Evans with 37 minutes played to lead the Hawks.
The Hawks closed regulation with a 17-8 scoring run, overcoming a 62-54 deficit with just over eight minutes left. Jefferson maintained a five-point lead with 1:52 to go before a foul was whistled on Darius Kinnel, sending Paul to the free throw line.
After burying both foul shots, Jefferson made only one of its two free throws on its next offensive possession. After a missed layup by Saint Anselm with 18 seconds left, the Hawks were forced to foul and send the Rams to the foul line again, ahead by only a 70-69 margin with 11 ticks left on the second half scoreboard.
Missing the front end of a one-and-one, the rebound was pulled down by freshman Matt Relihan (Lynnfield, Mass.). Receiving the ball just outside the arc, Evans cut to the baseline and drove to the hoop and got the go-ahead layup. Jefferson brought the ball across half court and lost control of the ball out of bounds, locking down the Hawks victory.
Shortly into the game and with the guests leading by two points, 7-5, Saint Anselm fired off a 14-2 scoring run that was fueled by five points from Relihan. Ahead by 10 points, 19-9, the Hawks maintained a lead throughout the rest of the first half but a last-second triple by Kinnel cut the halftime lead to 35-33.
Jefferson used nine consecutive points near the midpoint of the second half to build its game-high lead of eight points, 62-54. The Rams were led by 18-point performances by DeVaughn Mallory and Kylan Guerra – the former also secured 11 rebounds in the losing effort.