Saints Elminate Union, 74-59, Advance to Conference Title Game
Feb. 26: The St. Lawrence University men's basketball team brought Burkman Gymnasium alive Friday night, when they topped Union College, 74-59, to advance to the Liberty League Championship game.
The Dutchmen end their season with an overall record of 12-13 (7-7), while the Saints improve to a 15-11 (10-4) mark, and will play Hobart College Saturday, February 27th at 3:00 pm in the Burkman Gymnasium.
Sophomore Ralph Temgoua was on fire Friday, earning a game-high 21 points off 8-of-15 shooting, including 100% from the free-throw line, as well as a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior captain Andy Hoercher followed with 16 points, shooing 6-of-11 from the field, and was particularly impressive from the arc, shooting 4-of-6. Senior captain Josh Sharlow rounded out the Saints top three scorers with 11 points off 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 from the arc, and added a team-high five assists. The Saints were particularly strong from the three point mark as well, shooting over 50% in the second half.
Union's Drew Goldstein led his team with 11 points and five rebounds, shooting 4-of-12 from the floor, while Keven Donohue racked up 10 points. Joseph Mason picked up a game-high seven assists, while Matt Covucci grabbed two steals.
The Saints moved out to an early lead in the decisive first half. Within the first five minutes, they led by six (9-3). Union was able to climb back to within two, thanks to solid three-point shooting from Evan Croll, but the Saints followed suit, extending their advantage to eight (17-9) as sophomore Garrett Sharlow, and Temgoua nailed back-to-back threes. Hoercher continued the trend, while sophomore Terry Parham chipped one in from underneath to give the Scarlet and Brown their first double-digit lead with 7:45 left in the frame. Both teams struggled from the floor for the next three minutes, until Parham broke the drought with a solid three-pointer (25-11) with 4:08 on the clock. Donohue responded by tipping one in from underneath with 2:15 to play, but those were the last first-half points Union put on the board. Although the Saints increased their lead to 17 points as the half came to a close (30-13), there defense was phenomenal, holding the Dutchmen at five points for the closing ten minutes of the stanza.
The Scarlet and Brown took the momentum they gained in the first half and capitalized on it in the second. Within the first two and a half minutes, they led by 20 points (36-16). The dynamic duo of Josh Sharlow and Hoercher had fans on their feet as they drained three-pointer after three-pointer. However, Union's Joey Lokitis followed suit and with 11:21 had helped his team cut the deficit to 12. This was the closest the Dutchmen came to matching the score for the rest of the contest. Temgoua danced around defenders in the paint, while Hoercher impressed from the arc. With 3:48 left in regulation, Union had climbed back to within 15 points of the Saints, thanks to consistent shooting from Covucci and Goldstein, particularly from the three-point mark. However, the Saints bench players entered the game to put the finishing touches on what their teammates had started. Rookie Andikan Otu made it a 20 point margin (74-54) when he hit an easy layup with 1:52 on the clock and although, the Dutchmen chipped away to within 15 points as the seconds ticked, the Saints were able to celebrate the 74-59 victory with anticipation for tomorrow's championship game.