UNH basketball edges Saint Michael’s, 69-68

WEST HAVEN, CONN.  – The University of New Haven men’s basketball team tied the most three-pointers made in a game during the last eight years as the Chargers held on for a 69-68 win against the Saint Michael’s Purple Knights in a Northeast-10 Conference thriller from Charger Gymnasium Tuesday afternoon.

With the win, New Haven is now 10-5 overall and improves to 5-4 in the NE-10. Saint Michael’s drops to 9-5 with a 5-4 mark in the NE-10

For the game, the Chargers hit 15 three-pointers, tying their output against Le Moyne on November 28, 2010 for the most since the 2007-08 season. Their 42 attempts from beyond the arc are the most in the past eight campaigns. New Haven scored their first 27 points of the game via the trey.

Leading the way for the New Haven was Jonny Ocasio (Queens, N.Y./Charlotte (Fla.) / Hillsborough Community College) who tied a career high with 20 points, shooting 4-for-9 from beyond the arc to go along six rebounds. Levy Gillespie hit five three-pointers for a career-best 15 points. (Meriden, Conn./Capital Preparatory Magnet)Jemal Mosley# added 13 points, connecting three times from long distance. Eric Anderson (Newark, N.J./Newark Tech) had a solid game overall, scoring eight points, pulling in 15 rebounds, dishing eight assists and blocking three shots.

The first half saw a barrage of three-pointers by the Chargers, who hit nine treys in the half including four from Gillespie and three from Ocasio. It was that long distance performance that allowed New Haven to erase a 25-15 deficit and go on a 12-4 run to slice the edge to a mere two points just more than three minutes later. Trailing 29-27, the Chargers made their first two-point basket of the afternoon on a second chance look by Samir McDaniels (Roxbury, Mass./New Mission)to tie the game at 29-29 before heading into halftime down 32-29.

The two squads started the second half evenly through the first three minutes when a triple by Tommy Hunt (Smithfield, R.I./St. Andrew’s) knotted the score at 39-39 with 16:46 remaining. At that point, the Purple Knights started to pull away, taking a 52-44 lead in a matter of just 3:26. The Chargers rose to the challenge once again, going on an 18-9 run to take a 62-61 lead on a jumper by Anderson with 6:37 to go.

From that point, the game never saw more than a four point margin, reached when Ocasio hit his fourth three-pointer of the game with 1:00 remaining. After a trey by Mike Holton, Jr. sliced the lead to 69-68 with 32 seconds remaining, the Purple Knights had a chance to take the lead in the waning seconds, but Anderson and Ocasio each came up with a block to help preserve the victory.

New Haven now travels to Franklin Pierce for a key NE-10 matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Rindge, N.H.

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