Men's Basketball Loses 66-63 Decision at Le Moyne, Qualifier for Last Two NCAAs

Men's Basketball Loses 66-63 Decision at Le Moyne, Qualifier for Last Two NCAAs

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team lost a 66-63 decision to Le Moyne College in the final minute on Wednesday during Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court. The Dolphins qualified for the last two NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the 2018 national quarterfinals.

RECORDS

  • Saint Michael's (5-13, 2-11 NE10), Le Moyne (11-7, 8-5 NE10)

SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS

  • Senior Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y./The Park School of Buffalo), 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 8-for-14 field goals, 3-for-4 three-pointers
  • Junior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex), 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 6-for-9 field goals
  • Senior Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep), 14 points, 3 assists, 2 steals
  • Senior Winston Jones II (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central), 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3-for-4 field goals
  • Junior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 7 points, 4 assists

OPPONENT LEADERS

  • Junior Kobi Nwandu, 20 points, 5 rebounds
  • Junior Tom Brown, 18 points, 12 rebounds
  • Senior C.J. Asuncion-Boyd, 13 points, 3 blocks

GAME FACTS

  • Eight of the Purple Knights' last nine games have been decided by nine points or fewer.
  • Saint Michael's shot 6-of-13 from three-point range to Le Moyne's 5-of-20 performance, but was outscored from the charity stripe, 21-5. The Dolphins shot only 27.6 percent in the second half, making eight field goals, but went 18-for-20 on free throws.
  • The Purple Knights received all 63 of their points from the starting five, who played 174 of 200 minutes.
  • Holmes moved into ninth in program history in scoring (1,623), passing Mark Fizulich '97 (1,612) and Mark Pater '01 (1,621) along the way.
  • Cheatom reached the 800-point plateau (818) during the contest.
  • DiGrande's fifth double-double of the season.

THE ACTION

  • The teams exchanged four leads while forging three ties in the opening 9:38 of the contest before the Purple Knights slowly began pulling away on the strength of a 21-9 run that bridged halftime, grabbing a 44-31 advantage 53 seconds into the final stanza. Each member of the starting five scored, as DiGrande and Jones scored a team-best six points apiece.
  • Saint Michael's still led 46-33 on DiGrande's lay-in at 17:20 before Asuncion-Boyd hit two free throws at 10:07 to cap a 14-4 run, cutting the deficit to 50-47. Six of the points came from the charity stripe.
  • Guzman responded with a three from the left wing at 9:39 and a jumper 34 seconds later, extending the visitors' lead back to eight. After Le Moyne scored five straight on free throws, junior Ryan Roland's lay-up cut the Purple Knights' lead to 55-54 with 6:45 to go. However, Saint Michael's continued to lead, pushing the edge to four points twice, including on DiGrande's free throw at 3:28 (61-57).
  • Nwandu converted a three-point play with 3:04 remaining, and the teams combined for six straight missed shots before DiGrande's two freebies had the Purple and Gold in front 63-60 with 44 seconds to go.
  • Nwandu was fouled on the next possession and made two free throws at 32 ticks, and his ensuing steal led to another foul, leading to Asuncion-Boyd canning a pair of freebies at 25 seconds to put the hosts up by a 64-63 count.
  • The Purple Knights had a chance to take the lead, but a missed jumper was corralled by Brown, and junior Zay Jennings pushed the advantage to 66-63 with two more free throws with 10 seconds left. Saint Michael's inbounded and brought the ball the length of the court on its final possession, but a three-pointer from the left wing just before the buzzer was off the mark.

NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME

  • Saturday vs. Southern Connecticut State University, 3:30 p.m.
  • The Owls are eighth in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll.