NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 3/6 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State University men’s basketball team advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship with a 62-55 victory over Le Moyne.
Three Owls scored in double figures, led by the second career double-double from Michael Mallory (Waterbury, Conn.), who had17 points and 10 rebounds.
The freshman, who scored 15 points in the second half, completed a big and-one with 16 seconds left. The three-point play gave the Owls a 60-55 lead and effectively punched the home team’s ticket to the Championship.
Luke Houston (Pearl River, N.Y.) scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for SCSU. The junior netted 11 of his points in the opening period, helping the Owls take a 27-25 lead into the intermission.
Throughout the game, the Owls’ tri-captain seemed glued at the hip to Le Moyne’s All-Conference guard Nate Champion. Houston, with help from Tylon Smith (Manchester, Conn.), held the Dolphins’ marksman to two points on one-of-eight shooting.
The assist on Mallory’s crucial basket came from senior Greg Langston (Stratford, Conn.), who handed out six assists in the game. The fourth leading scorer in program history scored 11 points and corralled eight rebounds.
Both teams had tough shooting nights, with the Owls going 23-of-69 (33.3%) from the field. The visitors did not fare much better, making only 18 of their 53 attempts (34.0%).
The Owls’ frontcourt of Deshawn Murphy (Hamden, Conn.), Stefon Williams (Jamaica, N.Y.), Jose Cruz (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Austin Carter (Bloomfield, Conn.) had its hands full with Le Moyne center Jim Janson. The seven-footer scored a game-high 23 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
SCSU (26-2, 18-2 NE-10) will seeks its first Northeast-10 Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon against New Haven. The game, to be played at Moore Field House, will tip off at 1p.m.