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Men's Basketball: Guers, Hawks prevail

Special to the Union Leader

November 22. 2017 1:16AM

EASTON, Mass. — The St. Anselm men’s basketball team stepped on the Merkert Gym floor Tuesday night having won its previous three games by an average margin of 17.7 points. The Hawks made it four straight by soaring past Stonehill, 90-77, in a Northeast-10 Conference game.

Tim Guers, who began play averaging 21 points, finished with a double-double by scoring 34 points and snaring 14 rebounds. He also had eight assists.

Londonderry’s Cody Ball (14), Taylor Fortin (11) and Austin Nydegger (11) also reached double figures for the Hawks.

Ryan Roach (16) paced Stonehill.

The first half was a story of two halves.

St. Anselm (4-1, 3-0) opened in a man-to-man defense and the Skyhawks (1-4, 1-2) shredded it in the first eight minutes. The Skyhawks penetrated the Hawks defense for layups, especially by K.J. Lee, Dan Largey (two) and Will Moreton (conventional three-point play).

A layup by Lee gave the Skyhawks a 15-10 lead. But the Hawks tightened the screws on their defense and not only forced the Skyhawks into turnovers — St. Anselm scored 10 points off nine Stonehill turnovers in the half — but also denied them penetration.

As a result, the Hawks were able to get into a transition game and score points off their defense.

With Guers, Ball and Nydegger leading the way, the Hawks went on a 23-6 run that gave them a 33-21 lead with 7:11 left in the half. During the run, Ball and Nydegger drained 3-point shots; Guers buried a jumper from the left corner; and Kyle Green scored on a reverse layup.

Will Moreton ended Stonehill’s drought by scoring on a layup and Joel Berroa followed with a 3-point shot.

Those baskets sliced the Skyhawks deficit to seven points, at 33-26.

But St. Anselm went on a 7-0 run that was ignited by Nydegger and capped by Ball, who made a 3-point shot from NBA range for a 43-28 lead.

Guers picked up in the second half where he left off in the first by draining a 3-point shot.

Eventually the Hawks built their lead to as many as 18 points, the last time at 61-43 with 14:12 remaining.

Stonehill reeled off a 22-12 run that enabled the Skyhawks to pull within 71-65 with 7:06 left. But Guers personally ended that streak by scoring 12 consecutive points, helping the Hawks build an 86-72 lead.