BOSTON, Mass. – Junior forward Aaron Hall (Haverhill, Mass.) connected on a deep three with 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation to power Saint Joseph's College over host Emmanuel College, 85-83, Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball action. The win lifts the Monks to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in GNAC play while the loss dips the Saints to 1-10 and 0-5 in conference.
Emmanuel led for almost the entirety of the second half but Saint Joseph's erased a 10 point halftime deficit to take its first lead of the stanza with just 35 tics left in regulation following a three by sophomore guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) to make it 82-81.
The Monks turned the Saints over on the ensuing possession but failed to convert from the charity stripe, giving the hosts another offensive chance late in the action. EC rookie guard Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.) made it count with a tough jumper in traffic to bump Emmanuel up 83-82 with 8.4 seconds to play.
Out of timeouts, Saint Joseph's inbounded the ball and pushed it into the frontcourt with the rock ending in Hall's hands. The junior pulled up from five feet behind the arc on the wing and buried his first three point field goal of the season with 2.3 seconds left on the clock to give SJC the 85-83 lead. Also out of timeouts, the Saints had to inbound the ball on the fly and a desperation heave from well beyond midcourt sailed wide at the buzzer to give the Monks the two-point road win.
The contest opened up with back and forth action through the first five minutes until Reddick and senior center Matt Raine (Miami, Fla.) knocked down three pointers to give the Saints a 16-10 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. There were three lead changes and three ties throughout the remainder of the half. EC stretched its lead to seven in the waning second of the half before sophomore forward Will Jessup (Westwood, Mass.) came up with a big defensive rebound when he converted into a half court buzzer-beater to help the Saints charge into the locker room with a 51-41 lead at the break.
At the half, the Saints dropped nine three-pointers from seven different players matching their season game-high from beyond the arc. Their 9-for-13 performance was good for an outstanding 69.2% three point percentage.
The Monks had their own success from down-town in the half seeing Ben Malloy (Standish, Maine) and Andrew Ruffen (Salem, N.H.) each go 3-for-4 keeping their team in the game, the team recorded a total of eight three-pointers. John Crawley (Fitchburg, Mass.) led the game with five rebounds at the break.
Storming out of the half time break, the Monks put together a 9-0 run to open the second half and pull within one at 51-50 before the Saints found the scoring column with an old fashion three point play by junior guard Colin Cordero (Bolton, Conn.) to make it 54-50 with 17:14 to play.
Saint Joseph's evened the score at 55-55 after a three by Ruffen before the Saints regained the lead on a layup in transition by junior forward Alex Minetti (Wakefield, R.I.).
Emmanuel pressed on to a 67-60 advantage after senior guard Julian Diggs (Centerville, Va.) drained two free throws with 10:50 to play and the momentum appeared to be in favor of the hosts. Up by seven with the ball and under 9:30 to play, a costly turnover by Emmanuel ignited a 5-0 spurt by the Monks Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) to get the visitors to within one possession at 67-65 with 8:28 to play.
Riddick helped EC regain the seven-point lead at the 6:34 marker following a triple to make it 74-67 before the Monks began to chip away down the stretch to set up Hall's late-game heroics.
Both teams finished with season-highs from behind the arc as the Monks converted 13 triples compared to 11 from the Saints.
Riddick led all scorers with a season-high 26 points. Jessup, Minetti and Cordero all finished in double-figures, netting 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Saint Joseph's saw five players post double-figures led by 17 from Hall. Quinn Richardson-Newton (Saco, Maine) finished with 16 and Ruffen added 14. Sophomore guard Ben Malloy (Standish, Maine) finished with 12 while Corey rounded out the Monks in double-figures with 11 points.
The Saints return to action on Tuesday, January 10 as they welcome Anna Maria College to Boston for a 5:30 PM GNAC tilt while the Monks play in-conference the same day, hosting Johnson & Wales University at the Harold Alfond Center at 7:00 PM.
COURTESY OF EMMANUEL COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.