The St. Lawrence University men's basketball team battled back from a 15-point first-half deficit to take a one point lead with 5:51 remaining in regulation, but Union College regained an advantage and never trailed again, clinching a playoff berth with an 80-73 win in the Burkman Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Keith Callies's 22 points led three in double figures for the Dutchmen , who improved to 11-3 in the Liberty League and 19-4 overall. Meanwhile, the Saints fell to 7-7 in the conference and 9-14 overall and were led by junior Janpeter Brase's career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The teams exchanged baskets in the early going until St. Lawrence went up by three, 16-13, on layup by Brase at 12:10. Union, however, went on a 24-4 run over the next 9:00 minutes, fueled by Callies' four first-half 3-pointers, to take a 15 point lead (37-22), its largest of the game at 3:44. The Dutchmen shot 48.5 percent from the floor and made seven 3-pointers to take a 44-32 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, St. Lawrence went on a 15-5 run over a 7:00 minute span to cut Union's lead to one point, 53-52, with 11:34 remaining. First-year student Leondre Simmon gave the Saints the lead with 11:15 with a layup, but Union's Terell Winney responded with a 3-pointer to put his team back on top.
St. Lawrence regained the lead with 5:51 remaining on a free throw by junior Payton Stahler, but Winney again came through for Union, making back-to-back shots to give his team the edge once again. Though the Saints cut the deficit to one point on two more occasions, the Dutchmen would not relinquish the lead and made 5-of-7 free throws down the stretch to slip past the Saints with an 80-73 victory.
Winney finished with 18 points and six rebounds for the Dutchmen, while Matt Petrone added 12 points and seven assists. Sophomore Brady Condlin joined Brase in double figures with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Saints, while senior captain Kyle Miller added 13 points in his final home game of his career.
St. Lawrence will travel to RIT and William Smith next weekend for the Liberty League regular season finale.