FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
'Phins Make Plays Late to Defeat Defending Champion Hawks
Syracuse, N.Y. – Le Moyne won its second Northeast-10 Conference Championship with a 69-63 victory over Saint Anselm on Saturday afternoon at Ted Grant Court. The Dolphins (24-6) win the conference championship for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the program's first year in the conference. With the championship, the Dolphins receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. The 64-team field (eight 8-team regionals) will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. In the latest NCAA East Region rankings, released by the NCAA on Wednesday, February 28, the Dolphins were ranked first, while the Hawks were fifth.
In addition to winning the conference championship, the Dolphins also tied the program's record for wins in a season with their 24th. The 1987-88 and 1995-96 teams also posted 24 wins (and six losses).
Redshirt senior guard Tyquan Rolon led the Dolphins in the victory with 13 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. Senior forward Robert Jones III tallied 12 points, including 10 in the second half, six rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Senior forward Isaiah Eisendorf, who was named the NE10 Tournament Most Valuable Player, posted a near-double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, while blocking two shots. In Le Moyne's three NE10 Tournament games, Eisendorf recorded 60 points (on 75-percent shooting), 20 rebounds and four blocks. Senior guard Russell Sangster, who joined Eisendorf on the NE10 All-Championship Team, tallied nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sangster's first basket of the game, a lay-up with 17:54 remaining, gave him 1,000 points for his career, making him the 42nd player in the program's history to reach the milestone.
Cody Ball, who was named to the all-championship team after being the Tournament MVP last year, led three Hawks in double digits with 16 points, including eight in each half, while adding four rebounds and two steals. Chris Paul recorded 12 of his 14 points in the second half, while Taylor Fortin posted nine of his 13 points after intermission, while grabbing seven rebounds. NE10 Player of the Year Tim Guers, who was also named to the all-championship team, posted nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Guers, who entered the game averaging 22.3 points (4th in the NE10), has scored in double figures in 28 of his 30 games, with the two single-digit games coming against the Dolphins (5 points on January 20).
Following the first media timeout with 14:22 left and the Hawks leading 10-8 following a Ball three-pointer, Le Moyne scored eight straight points for a 16-10 lead with 11:09 remaining. Rolon drained a three-pointer and then senior forward Daniel Kaigler scored five points over three possessions. After the teams traded points over the next eight minutes, with Le Moyne's lead bouncing between two and six points, Kyle Green recorded a conventional three-point play to get the Hawks within 26-23 with 2:31 to go.
The Dolphins scored the final five points of the half to take a 31-23 lead into the intermission. Senior guard Anthony Richards buried a three-pointer and then Rolon made a lay-up. Saint Anselm opened the second half with the first eight points to tie the score and 13 of the first 16 to take the lead. Fortin made back-to-back three-pointers and then Guers made a lay-up. After Sangster answered with a three-pointer, Gustav Suhr-Jessen made a lay-up and Ball drained a three-pointer for a 36-34 advantage.
Le Moyne responded with seven straight points to regain the lead. Jones III put his team back in front with a three-pointer and then Eisendorf went 4-for-4 at the foul line over two trips to the line. Following four points by the Hawks in 32 seconds to get back within one, the Dolphins used another 7-0 run to take a 48-40 lead with 11:01 to go. Sangster made a lay-up, Richards hit a three-pointer from the left corner and then Rolon made two foul shots. Saint Anselm got within three on four occasions over the next five minutes, but was unable to get any closer. After Ball made the score 55-52 with 6:05 left, the Dolphins scored seven of the next eight points to take their largest lead of the game, 62-53, with 4:10 left. Kaigler bookended the stretch with a pair of lay-ups around a three-pointer by Jones III.
The Hawks made one last comeback attempt and got within one with 2:27 left. Green made a lay-up, Paul converted a foul shot and a lay-up on separate possessions and then recorded a conventional three-point play. Eisendorf answered with a jumper in the paint with 2:00 left and then made it a two-possession game with a free throw with 1:09 to play.
After Paul had a put-back lay-up to get the Hawks within 65-63 with 41 seconds left, Rolon made a lay-up with 24 ticks left and Jones III closed out the game's scoring with two free throws with seven seconds left after Fortin missed a pair of three-point attempts.
2018 NE10 All-Championship Team
Ryan Richmond, Bentley
Isaiah Eisendorf, Le Moyne
Russell Sangster, Le Moyne
Cody Ball, Saint Anselm
Tim Guers, Saint Anselm
Most Valuable Player - Isaiah Eisendorf, Le Moyne
Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at Le Moyne
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