Saints prevail 59-56 over Soaring Eagles
The St. Lawrence University men's basketball team held on to defeat Elmira College on Saturday in the Burkman Gymnasium by the score of 59-56. Junior Ralph Temgoua led the Saints with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while classmate Garrett Sharlow added 13 points and 11 boards.
The victory is the first on the team's home floor, as the Saints improve to 2-4 on the young season. Meanwhile, Elmira, which had a nine point lead with 10:00 minutes to play in regulation, suffered the defeat and falls to 1-6 on the year."It was nice to get a win tonight," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Downs. "We have a young group of guys that are working hard and trying to figure it out."
The Saints sprinted out to a 17-9 lead on a jumper by junior Terry Parham. However, turnovers and poor shooting, coupled with solid play from Elmira's Bobby DiPiazza, allowed the Soaring Eagles to creep back into the game. DiPiazza led all scorers in the first half with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, as his play gave the visitors a 29-27 lead at intermission.
Sophomore Nick Meunier had a solid first half for St. Lawrence, as he had eight points while Sharlow chipped in seven and six rebounds. Though the Saints shot 1-for-6 behind the arc, they controlled the glass throughout the first 20:00 minutes, holding a 26-15 advantage in rebounds.
Elmira would expand its lead behind four consecutive three-pointers from Josh Keys to bring the Soaring Eagles' advantage up to nine points, 48-39, midway through the second half. The Scarlet and Brown would respond in style, though, as they answered with an 11-2 run behind the free-throw shooting of Temgoua, knotting the score at 50-50 heading into the final 5:00 minutes.
Both teams exchanged points until Meunier sparked the Saints and the home crowd with a rim-shaking dunk off of a slick pass from Temgoua to take the lead, 54-53. Momentum continued to swing in favor of the home team, as rookie Al Jones took a behind-the-back pass from junior Terry Parham and scored while a foul was called against Elmira. Jones converted the three-point play to give the Saints a 57-53 advantage.
Keys' fifth three-pointer of the game would come moments later to pull Elmira to within one point, 57-56. After two crucial free throws by Sharlow gave St. Lawrence a 59-56 lead with 5.1 seconds on the clock, Noah Zazulia was forced to throw up a half-court shot at the buzzer for the tie. However, the ball glanced off the rim and away from the basket, allowing St. Lawrence to celebrate the 59-56 victory.
Keys finished with 17 points including 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc for the Soaring Eagles, while DiPiazza closed with 13 points. Meunier closed with 12 points, six rebounds and a game-high three blocks.
The Saints will travel to Potsdam, NY to take on the Potsdam State Bears on Tuesday, December 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.