Men’s basketball are NE-10 champs and will host east region tournament


Courtesy / Bruce Preston

Men’s basketball wins their 10th NE-10 championship in program history.

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

Immediately after watching a men’s hockey championship victory, fans piled into Stoutenburgh Gymnasium to cheer on the men’s basketball team in their own NE-10 championship. 

And men’s basketball would make Saturday even sweeter, cutting down the nets on their home floor and winning the championship over the University of New Haven 65-54. Two champions crowned at home in one day ranks right up there for most historic days in Saint Anselm athletics. Adding to that, it was the 10th NE-10 title for the men’s basketball program. 

Fans packed Stoutenburgh to the gills, not an empty seat to be seen. Some fans stood along the ends of the bleachers, while others crowded onto the stairs between the bleacher sections. You could feel the energy. A buzz filled the arena with excited and anxious murmurs from fans. The whole place erupted when the Hawks’ starting five was announced. 

And the energy stayed at full throttle for most of the first half, as the hot-shooting Hawks held a comfortable 42-29 lead heading to the locker room. Senior guard Miles Tention led the way for the Hawks, putting up 14 points in the first half. Sophomore forward Zac Taylor was also hot early on scoring 9 points by the break. Senior guard Tyler Arbuckle did a little bit of everything for the Hawks, scoring 8 points in the first half.

New Haven came out of the locker room with some stifling defense, holding the Hawks to just five points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Hawks, who led by as much as 17 in the first half, saw the lead trimmed to 47-46.

But the battle-tested Hawks are no stranger to big moments. And they, once again, showed their mettle and took care of business in front of their fans.

In the last 10 minutes, Stoutenburgh was electric. The bleachers rumbled like thunder with everyone stomping their feet in unison. Fans roared on every bucket. They chanted “defense, defense, defense” on every defensive possession. Every New Haven foul or turnover was met with a thousand voices yelling, “you can’t do that.”

Senior forward Owen McGlashan weighed in on the atmosphere in Stoutenburgh on Saturday: “The fans help a lot. We only have two losses at home and they both came over break, so the fans weren’t really there. And the two losses that we have at home are two teams that we just beat — Pace and New Haven. So, you could obviously tell the difference just by the energy that’s brought to the building. We feed off that energy, like we can feel it, especially in the championship game… That’s the craziest environment I’ve ever played in. You can’t hear anything except your own thoughts. You got to be mentally there because anything can happen.”

As the game was winding down, the men’s hockey team — who had just hoisted their own trophy hours before — stood along the baseline, threw up their arms and hyped up the crowd. They were here to help their fellow Hawks bring home the title.

“We were up by a lot, they trimmed the lead, and then the hockey team walks in. They just came off of a championship, so the energy in the building was unlike anything I’ve ever felt,” said McGlashan.

The basketball team responded by closing the game on a 9-3 run. The run was punctuated when Tention stole the ball and emphatically slammed it at the other end with a minute remaining. 

The final buzzer sounded, and the celebration began. Fans stormed the court to congratulate their beloved Hawks. 

Tention finished with 24 points, while Arbuckle, McGlashan and Taylor all put up double figures. Junior guard Matt Becker was big for the Hawks grabbing eight boards and dishing out eight assists. 

 Arbuckle was named the tournament’s most outstanding player (MOP), averaging 20 points across the three games played. Tention and Becker also joined Arbuckle on the NE-10 all-tournament team. Becker became the second Hawk ever to win the Elite 24 Award, which is awarded to the student-athlete at the championship with the highest GPA (Jackie Gaumer ‘21 of field hockey also won this award). 

Tention and Arbuckle were also named to the regular season All-Conference First Team, making Saint Anselm the only school to have two first-team athletes. 

Coach Dickson surpassed the 700 career win mark this season, and he is the winningest coach in NE-10 history. After playing for five seasons under Head Coach Dickson, Tention had high praise for his coach. 

“His personality just eventually rubs off on you. The way he thinks about basketball, the way he approaches the game, the way he approaches off days, the way he approaches practices, just rubs off on his players. And that mindset, that way to think about the game that he wants out of his players, will pass down to me, and I’ll pass it down to younger guys, and they’ll pass it down. It’s kind of just been the culture that coach has created. Just everyone being on the same page and trusting coach.”

The basketball team has a special identity unlike any other team in the NE-10. Anyone can get a bucket, or be ‘that guy’ on any given night. And the depth of scoring options that the Hawks possess really sets them apart from their competition. 

“I would say depth is a big reason why we’re really good this year. We have two leaders, but any given night, anyone can score, anyone can take over, anyone can lead us. And that just goes to trust. You know, you look at the Bentley game, and Matt Becker scores 32, a career high… A huge reason for our success is that everyone believes in one another and there’s no questions and no doubt, and we’re all on the same page, and we’re clicking right now,” said Tention. 

After their NE-10 championship, the Hawks have earned the #1 seed in the NCAA Division II east region tournament, and Saint Anselm will host the entire tournament. The Hawks are set to face #8 seed Caldwell on Saturday in the first round. Be sure to buy your tickets for the tournament and pack Stoutenburgh for your Hawks. 

“Our goal this entire season has honestly been to win one game at a time. And as long as we can win one game at a time, then we’ll have another game after,” said McGlashan.

Coach Dickson hugs Miles Tention. (Courtesy / Bruce Preston)
NE-10 Comm. Julie Ruppert hands Tyler Arbuckle most outstanding player award. (Courtesy / Bruce Preston )











Senior photo (L to R): Relihan, McGlashan, Tention, Arbuckle, and Urbancic. (Courtesy / Bruce Preston)