Men’s Hoops: St. Mikes 2-0 after 77-72 Win Over NYIT

Courtesy St. Michael’s Sports Information

WORCESTER, MA. — Redshirt junior Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School) made two critical baskets in the final 51 seconds, and the Saint Michael’s College men’s basketball team held off New York Institute of Technology, 77-72, on Saturday during the Assumption College Tip-Off Classic at Laska Gym.

· Saint Michael’s (2-0), NYIT (0-2)

· Senior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 20 points, 3 steals, 7-for-10 field goals, 2-for-3 three-pointers
· Redshirt junior Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School), 14 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, 6-for-11 field goals
· Sophomore Jontai Williams (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes), 10 points (tied career high), 3 assists, 3 steals, 2-for-4 three-pointers
· Senior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex), 10 points, 6 rebounds
· Junior Jason Heter (Andover, N.J./Newton), 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4-for-8 field goals
· First-year Jalen Gorham (York, Pa./MacDuffie School), 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds

· Redshirt senior Jeffrey Hayden, 24 points, 8-for-10 free throws
· First-year Tim Dawson, 23 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, 8-for-11 free throws, 3-for-5 three-pointers
· Sophomore Brandon Redendo, 13 points

· The Purple Knights improved to 10-0 in a series that started on Dec. 21, 1964.
· Saint Michael’s held advantages in rebounding (43-40) and shooting (47.0%-33.8%), including outscoring the Bears, 46-22, in the paint. The Purple Knights picked up 13 steals.
· Guzman, who netted 31 points in yesterday’s game, entered the weekend with two 20-point outings in 59 career contests.

· Five straight points from Hayden keyed the Bears getting out to a 7-2 lead by 16:21 of the first half before three Purple Knights scored in a 6-2 response, with Guzman’s jumper trimming the deficit to 9-8 at 14:39.
· Back-to-back three-pointers from Dawson later put NYIT in front, 22-12, and his free throw had the Bears up 31-25 with 4:03 to go.
· Gorham’s dunk followed by consecutive baskets from Jackson tied the game, but sophomore Aaron Fowlkes’ triple at 1:38 capped a quick 5-0 spurt that gave NYIT a 36-31 edge.
· Heter scored four points in the final stages of the stanza, including on a putback just before the buzzer, and Saint Michael’s trailed only 38-37 at halftime.
· First-year Kasai Brown’s (Brooklyn, N.Y./Millbrook School) lay-in 28 seconds into the second half put the Purple Knights in front, and his jumper at 17:28 kicked off a tie-breaking 12-2 run during which Guzman scored eight points, and Saint Michael’s led 53-43.
· Redendo drained a pair of threes in a 9-2 run that brought NYIT within 62-61 with 6:48 remaining, but DiGrande’s lay-up 14 seconds later sparked a 6-0 spurt.
· With his team up by four and less than a minute remaining, Jackson made a driving lay-up as the shot clock expired to produce a 75-69 margin with 51 seconds to go. Hayden buried a deep three 12 seconds later, but Jackson again drove to the hoop for a bucket at nine ticks, creating the final score.

· Wednesday at No. 12 Saint Anselm College, 7:30 p.m.
· The Hawks, who advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, received their preseason national ranking from D2SIDA.