High powered offense leads Saints men's basketball over Bombers on Senior Day
First-year Luke Hicks scored 22 points and graduate-student Riley Naclerio added 21 points to lead the St. Lawrence University men's basketball team to an 84-72 win over Ithaca on senior day in Liberty League action on Saturday afternoon at Burkman Gymnasium.
The Scarlet and Brown improved to 16-7 on the season and 13-3 in conference play, while the Bombers dropped to 13-10 and 9-7. With today's win, the Saints clinched a bye in the first-round of the Liberty League Tournament.Hicks shot 6-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range and also added a career-high 13 assists, three rebounds and two steals. Naclerio went 9-for-18 from the floor and grabbed four rebounds, while Dom DeRegis hit 3-for-4 from the arc and scored 11 points. All four graduates contributed to the win as Chris Miner grabbed 12 rebounds and Ben Crawford picked up 10.
After a back-and-forth battle and four lead changes through the majority of the first half, Ithaca pushed its lead to six points with 2:50 remaining in the half. A 3-pointer from Jordan Huntley closed the gap to one with just over a minute to play and Luke Hicks shot 2-for-2 from the line to give the Saints a 42-41 edge at halftime.
The Saints fired on all cylinders to open the second half, firing off four 3-pointers on a 12-2 run to build a 17-point lead over the Bombers.
St. Lawrence maintained its double-digit advantage down the stretch and outscored the Bombers 42-31 in the second half for the win.
"We knew today was going to be a tough battle against a high-scoring Ithaca team," said head coach Chris Downs. "We really stepped up shooting and locked down on defense in the second half for the win. Our entire coaching staff is proud of tonight's efforts and we're so happy to bring home a win for our seniors on senior day."
Peter Ezema and Bryan Karl led Ithaca with 14 points each, while Matt Flood and Sebastian Alderete scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Ezema also posted a team-best seven rebounds.
St. Lawrence shot 54.7% from the floor and 50.0% from the arc and held the Bombers to 40.0% shooting from the floor and just 33.3% from the arc. The Saints also recorded 10 points off turnovers and 15 points off the bench.
Prior to the start of today's game, the Saints honored their four graduates – Naclerio, Miner, Crawford and DeRegis.
The Saints will wrap up the regular season at Rensselaer and Skidmore next weekend.