Saint Anselm Holds Off Stonehill in Finale, 78-75

Senior Mitch Amelio netted a career-high 16 points in his final collegiate game to spark the Skyhawks comeback effort. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

McCahey and Mallios combine for 44 points to turn back Skyhawks rally 

EASTON, Mass. (February 25, 2014) – Saint Anselm College held off a second half comeback effort from Stonehill College to close out the regular season with a 78-75 victory in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Dino Mallios (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) and sophomore Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y./Clarkstown South) combined for 44 points to lead Saint Anselm to its eighth straight win. McCahey scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, while converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Mallios added 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting, four assists, three rebounds and six steals. Junior Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) added 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, a team-high eight rebounds and four steals, while classmate Roy Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./St. Thomas More) chipped in 14 points, six boards and four steals.

Senior Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) led Stonehill with a career-high 16 points in his final collegiate game as he made 5-of-8 shots from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, and converted 3-of-4 free-throws with two assists. Freshman Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) added 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, nine rebounds and two assists. Junior Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) contributed eight points on 4-of-8 shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Sophomore Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) chipped in nine points, four boards, three blocked shots and two steals.

Saint Anselm took advantage of Stonehill's 21 turnovers by posting a 31-10 advantage in points off turnovers while committing just seven turnovers themselves. The Hawks shot just 39.5-percent (30-for-76) from the field, including 6-for-26 (23.1%) from three-point range, and converted 12-of-15 (90%) free-throws. Stonehill hit 52.6-percent (30-for-57) of its shots from the field, including 59.4% (19-32) in the second half to bounce back from a 16 point (41-25) halftime deficit. The Skyhawks connected on 7-of-20 (35%) three-pointers and went 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the line. Stonehill's bench outscored the Saint Anselm reserves 26-3 and posted a 43-34 rebounding advantage.

Freshman Ryan Logan added 13 points, nine rebounds and two assists. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Saint Anselm scored the final 12 points of the first half to take a 16 point lead (41-25) into the locker room. The Hawks opened the second half with a three-point play from Santo to push the lead to 19 before Stonehill trimmed the deficit to 12 (46-34) on a layup from sophomore Josh Heyliger (Queens, N.Y./The Hill School) a minute and a half into the frame. Saint Anselm's lead peaked at 21 (59-38) after a Mallios triple with 14:59 to play.

Stonehill chipped away, closing within nine (62-53) when Amelio capped a 15-3 spree with a three-pointer with 11:04 on the clock. Amelio had nine points in all during that stretch. McCahey scored a layup to push the Saint Anselm lead back to 11 (64-53) with 10:27 to play, but the Skyhawks cut the gap to two (66-64) after a three point play by sophomore Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) capped an 11-2 spurt.

Saint Anselm withstood a chance for Stonehill to draw even on three occasions over the next three minutes and wouldn't break. The Skyhawks were within three (72-69) after a Cole tip-in with 4:31 left before the Hawks scored the next six points to reclaim a nine point lead (78-69) after a Santo layup with 3:07 to play.

Stonehill made one last run, holding Saint Anselm scoreless the rest of the way, and was back within three (78-75) after a Logan triple with 1:13 to play. The Hawks missed on two tries at the other end to seal the win, giving the Skyhawks one last chance, but Cumpstone's tying three point attempt with three seconds to play was off the mark.

Stonehill closes out its 2013-14 season with an 8-18 record overall, 5-16 in the Northeast-10. Saint Anselm (19-6, 17-4 NE-10) has clinched the top seed for the Northeast Division and will host an NE-10 quarterfinal matchup on Sunday at 3 p.m., against the winner of Friday's first round clash between Bentley University and College of Saint Rose.

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