Saints men's basketball edges Vassar for first Liberty League win
Sunday, January 7, 2018 - 8:24 am

The St. Lawrence University men's basketball team held on through a series of late fouls and time outs to edge Vassar 68-67 en route to their first Liberty League win on the season on Saturday afternoon in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Junior Ben Crawford almost matched his season high, leading the Saints with 26 points and nine rebounds, while first-year Pierre Coffy netted 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and a team-high three steals. Dom DeRegis finished with 14 points, three rebounds and two assists.

Crawford landed a 3-pointer to give the Saints an early 6-4 lead over the Brewers. After four ties and a battle for the lead over almost a five minute span the Saints took off with a layup from Chris Miner at the 11-minute mark to gain a 20-14 advantage.

The Brewers proved relentless, recording a six-point run to tie the game at 30, and as the clock wound down regain control of the scoreboard.

After six ties in the first half alone, Vassar pulled away with a one-point edge over the Saints at the break.

St. Lawrence went to work, quickly rallying to a 39-38 lead on a layup from Crawford only a minute and a half into the second. Vassar rebounded to add two more ties to the mix, but Coffy, Crawford and Cam Keeley all put points on the board during a nine-point run for a 50-43 lead with 13:19 remaining.

The Scarlet and Brown continued to work, extending their lead but the Brewers chipped away at the Saints lead, narrowing the gap to five points with 6:15 to play. Jesse Browne landed a deep three for Vassar in hopes of catching the leading Saints' team.

First years Coffy and Brandon Arnold tabbed back-to-back buckets giving St. Lawrence a six-point advantage with just over three minutes to play in the second half. Vassar capitalized on its late possessions, first-year Lance Tebay nailed a 3-pointer closing the gap to 66-65 in favor of the Saints.

A foul on Brewers' B.J. White allowed two free throws for Coffy, and a 68-65 lead for the Scarlet and Brown with 33 seconds to play in regulation. Vassar picked up a late defensive rebound on a missed shot from Crawford and ultimately held possession with four seconds to play.

Head coach Chris Downs called back-to-back timeouts to see Vassar's play set up, hoping to use the Brewer's strategy against them. White pulled the buzzer beater but couldn't get the ball to fall for the win.

"It was a much needed win tonight," said Downs. "We know we still have a lot of work to do and look forward to getting ready for a tough battle Tuesday."

The Brewers were led by Paul Grinde with 18 points and three rebounds, while Browne added 13 and seven, respectively. Hunter Gettings rounded out the double-digit scorers for Vassar with 12 points.

With the win, the Saints improved to 3-8 on the season and 1-3 in conference play, while the Brewers fell to 3-9 and 1-3.

St. Lawrence will travel to neighboring Clarkson on Tuesday, January 9th for a midweek Route-11 rivalry against the Golden Knights at 8 p.m.