ALBANY, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team led regionally-ranked The College of Saint Rose at halftime but saw its three-game winning streak snapped in a 96-83 loss on Wednesday evening during Northeast-10 Conference play in Nolan Gymnasium. The Purple Knights are 4-9 overall and 1-7 in the league, while the Golden Knights improved to 10-4 and 5-1. Saint Rose, which is ninth in the latest D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last winter.
Junior Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep) netted a career-high 31 points while shooting 10-of-14 overall, including 5-of-7 from three-point range, and hitting all six free throw attempts. Senior Colin Richey (Upton, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall) added a career-high 18 points thanks to shooting 7-of-11 overall and 3-of-4 from deep. Junior Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y./The Park School of Buffalo) had 11 points, turning in a 5-of-5 free throw effort, sophomore Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) blocked three shots, and sophomores Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) and Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School) both dished off three assists.
Saint Michael's committed only nine turnovers during the contest while shooting 20-of-25 on free throws and 11-for-23 on threes, finishing the game at 48.1 percent shooting from the floor. Holmes increased his career point total to 964 during the game, coming within three points of the top 50 in program history in scoring. He now has 159 triples, standing one short of Dom Ditlefsen '15 for 11th in school annals.
Senior Julian Lipinski scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting for Saint Rose, and classmate Mical-Ryan Boyd hit four treys en route to 18 points. Senior Jack Jones was 6-for-6 while scoring 15 points in 16 reserve minutes.
Holmes had 19 points by halftime while Richey netted 12, as Saint Michael's shot 64.0 percent, buoyed by an 8-of-12 effort from distance. Purple Knights accounted for the first eight points, and the visitors led 10-2 on Cheatom's jumper before Lipinski had six points in a go-ahead 9-0 run. That was the first of five lead swings by the midway point of the opening stanza. After Lipinski's three-point play made it 21-16 in favor of Saint Rose at 10:50, Saint Michael's countered with a 24-7 run. At one point, Holmes netted 12 straight Purple Knight points, helping his team forge ahead 40-28 by 5:23.
Twelve of the next 14 points came from the hosts, with Boyd's triple bringing the Golden Knights within 42-40 by 1:25, but Holmes' jumper 20 seconds later reestablished a four-point edge, and the visitors led 44-40 at the intermission.
Lipinski scored six straight Saint Rose points before junior Shane Herrity buried a three to cap a half-opening 17-6 run at 15:02. Saint Michael's twice edged within four points, for the last time at 59-55 on junior Winston Jones II's (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central) putback, but Jack Jones went on a personal 9-3 run to push the lead to 10, kicking off what became a 19-6 run. Five straight Holmes points made it 78-66 with 7:20 to go, but Saint Michael's came no closer. The teams combined to shoot 33-for-42 on free throws in the second half.
Saint Michael's plays four of its next five contests at home, beginning by hosting American International College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.