Men’s basketball defeated in D2 Tournament

Glenn Krzeminski, Crier Staff

Hawks men’s basketball capped off another successful regular season under longtime head Coach Keith Dickson, and for the 15th time in 29 seasons, they earned a D2 tournament berth. Unfortunately, the Hawks lost in the first round of the tournament to the University of Sciences on Saturday, March 14.

March Madness began with the Northeast 10 tournament against Le Moyne College. Saint A’s handled them very easily earlier this season with an 86 to 66 drubbing.

On Sunday, March 1, the Hawks rode the two horses that got them to this point. Seniors Chris Santo and Roy Mabrey had terrific performances against Le Moyne. The final was an 84-73 Saint Anselm victory to advance to a semifinal.

The semifinal contest concluded with Saint A’s defeating Saint Michael’s, 80 to 68.

The championship game for the Northeast 10 crown was between Saint Anselm and the American International Yellow Jackets on March 7 in a game to remember. Saint A’s had dismantled AIC 92-71 on January 31.

This was the first Northeast 10 championship appearance for the Hawks since 2006 and the first in front of their home crowd since 1996. There were times when it seemed the Hawks would pull away and grab their 11th conference title, but it was not to be.

“It was an extremely well-played game by both teams, and AIC made two huge plays in the last minute and a half to pull out the victory,” said Coach Dickson. “Those games usually come down to a few possessions, and unfortunately for us it didn’t go our way.”

The first half for the Hawks was basically the Chris Santo show. Roy Mabrey struggled with his shot and the other three starters did not contribute to their potential. This changed in the second half as Santo got a lot of help from junior guard Victor Joshua as he put up a strong 18 second- half points for a season-high total of 25 in the game. For the opposition, guard Cameron Dobbs, standing at less than 6 feet tall, played big with clutch plays and shots throughout, racking in 27 tallies for the game. Marcus Porter had 23, and Bobby Harris recorded 20 for the Jackets. These three players combined for 70 of the team’s 85 points.

The game was knotted at 72 with just 1:25 to go when Porter made a contested paint shot to put AIC ahead by two. On the next possession, Santo turned the ball over, and the Yellow Jackets sealed the game with a massive, challenged, fade-away three from Dobbs with only 40 ticks left on the clock. Harris closed out the game going 7 for 8 at the free throw line. AIC won 85-79.

The squad then took on the University of Sciences on Saturday March, 14.

This was the first meeting between the two programs as forward Garret Kerr dominated the Hawks putting up a 40 spot on the scoreboard and 14 strong rebounds. He notched more than half of the Devil’s points and Saint A’s simply had no answer.

An injured, not 100 percent Chris Santo still put together a valiant effort for the Hawks with a solid 18 points, 14 of which were second-half points. Roy Mabrey and Victor Joshua contributed with 12 points apiece.

The University of Sciences led by twelve at the break with the Hawks only mustering a measly 21 point mark at the break, their lowest of the season. But, early in the second stanza the Hawks were able to make a run going on a 17 to 6 spurt to cut an 18 point deficit down to a reasonable margin of only seven at 47-40 with 8 minutes to go making the game interesting. This was as close as the Hawks would get though as they would eventually fall by a score of 73-57.