Nashua, NH – A depleted Emmanuel squad entered the Muldoon Fitness Center in Nashua, NH with just 8 players dressed to play in the game and came away with a hard fought 73-68 victory over the Rivier College Raiders. Rivier was out shot from all areas of the floor as the home team couldn't find the bottom of the basket or get any type of offensive rhythm going all night.
The Raiders shot just 37% from the floor including making just 10 of 31 shots from the 3-point line, but the numbers that stick out the most in a five point loss was the 14 missed free throws, including 6 by senior Don Poitras (Bow, NH), who was just 4 for 10 from the line.
The Saints made all the shots when it counted. Down 35-30 at the half, they opened the second half on a 12-1 run, capped off by a Theo Robinson (Springfield, MA) lay-up, that gave Emmanuel a 42-36 lead. In that span the Raiders went 0-7 from the floor, including a missed dunk and a missed lay-up, and went 1-4 from the free throw line. The Raiders quickly rebounded and retook the lead less than 5 minutes later after back to back 3-pointers by senior Nick Bean (E. Longmeadow, MA) and junior Joe Granato (Arlington, MA) to make the score 44-42.
A jumper by Emmanuel's Xavier Everson (Rochester, NY) tied the game at 44 and a back and forth battle ensued until the game clock got below 10 minutes. The shooting went cold again for the Raiders as Emmanuel went on a 14-5 run that gave the Saints a 65-56 lead at the 2:37 mark. Down the stretch, all the Raiders could do was foul, but the Saints made 5 of 6 in the last 45 seconds to seal the win.
Bean led all scorers, dropping 24 points for the Raiders including a last second 3-pointer to move the Raiders to within 5 points to end the game. Bean went just 6 for 15 from the 3-point arc and didn't get to the free throw line all night. Sophomore Cliff Celestin (Braintree, MA) and senior Don Poitras both contributed with 12 points. Celestin was the other 3-point threat on the night, knocking down 3 of 6 from deep.
Brandon Jones (Windsor, CT) led the Saints offense, scoring 17 points off the bench. Jones got to the free throw line a team high 10 times, knocking down 7 of his attempts. Tyrone Buchanan (Detroit, MI) was just behind with 16 points, going 7 for 13 from the field and 2 for 3 from the 3-point line. Jones, a 5'10 guard, and Buchanan, a 6'4 senior, also grabbed 9 rebounds each, just missing the double-double. D.J. Fazio (Methuen, MA) and Michael Mailhot (Norwich, CT) both reached double digits in points, scoring 13 and 11 respectively. Freshman Theo Robinson (Springfield, MA) led all players with 10 rebounds for the Saints.
The Raiders will travel to New Haven, CT on Saturday to take on GNAC leading Albertus Magnus College at 1:00 PM. The Saints will host GNAC foe Emerson College on the same day at 3:00 PM.