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February 08. 2014 8:21PM

Men's Basketball: St. Anselm edges SNHU


SNHU's Elijah Bonsignore shoots over Saint Anselm's Chris Santo on Saturday. (/Union Leader)

GOFFSTOWN - Saint Anselm College went on a 20-2 run to open the second half, then withstood a Southern New Hampshire University rally late to win 83-75 Saturday at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Channel.

Dino Mallios and Mike McCahey combined for 29 second-half points to help propel the Hawks to victory.

The win improves the Hawks to 14-6 overall and 12-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference. SNHU drops to 8-8 in conference play and 11-9 overall.

McCahey led all scorers with 21 points. Mallios and Chris Santo had 15 each for the Hawks.

Elijah Bonsignore had 15 poins for the Penmen, while Rodney Sanders added 14. Aleksandar Dobrovic scored 13, all in the second half.

The game was reminiscent of the one played Nov. 20 at SHNU, when the Hawks came from behind to win 88-65.

"I thought we controlled the first half," said Penman coach Stan Spirou. "Then in the first five minutes of the second half, they got some easy shots, some put-backs, and it was uphill from there."

Saint Anselm Coach Keith Dickson called his team "a little rusty" after having only played two games in the last 14 days, but he credited Mallios and McCahey for sparking his team in the second half.

"We came out more with an edge," said Mallios about the second half. "We started making shots. We just came out with more of a chip on our shoulder."

The matinee game was played before a capacity crowd of 1,128.

The teams traded runs and leads throughout the first half, which at one point saw a 10-point lead for the Hawks before the Penmen finished strong for a 32-29 lead.

But SNHU started cold from the floor in the second half, and Saint Anselm took advantage with a 20-2 run to go up 49-34 with 14:42 remaining.

The Penman got back to within four, 71-67, with 3:30 left, but a technical foul on Dobrovic gave the Hawks two points and stalled the SNHU run.

"I was proud of my kids today," Dickson said. "Very poised all the way through. I like the way we're playing. I'm happy with what we're doing."

How did Dickson like playing to a national TV audience?

"For the kids, I don't think it mattered that much," he said. "But I think the TV game got the atmosphere up to where a college basketball game should be."

Mallios agreed with Dickson about playing on TV. "Just like any other game, just a few extra cameras," he said.

McCahey said the biggest difference was in how the television coverage seemed to spark the crowd. "I've never heard it that loud for a game before," he said.


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