Le Moyne gets first NEC win 74-63 over FDU

HACKENSACK, N.J. (LE MOYNE ATHLETICS)– The Le Moyne College men’s basketball team closed out the game with a 25-4 run over the last 11 minutes to register a 74-63 victory over FDU in Northeast Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Stratis Arena.

“We tell our guys all the time, ‘we don’t know when your number is going to get called, but when it does get called, you have to be able to make the most of it’ and I thought in the first half (Isaiah) Salter gave us a lot of good minutes and then in the second half, I thought Trent (Mosquera) and AJ (Dancler) did a really good job as well just coming in and kind of like giving us that extra surge that we needed,” said head coach Nate Champion ’14. “It was nice to have Nate Fouts back too. I thought Ocypher (Owens) really got us going there for a good stretch. He got tired a little bit, we subbed Foutsy in and he kept it rolling and I thought that was a great stretch for us and a great stretch for those guys. But, you know, another guy, he played almost the whole game, Kaiyem Cleary, was 23 points on 16 attempts and that’s what we told him, just we have to be efficient with our shot attempts and he’s a guy that can do something a little different than most guys and I thought we saw that on display at times today. I just thought when we hit our stride, the movement of the offense, I thought we really struggled to kind of figure that out after the press. And then in the second half, we started to kind of click a little bit, and we started getting things we needed but then we weren’t getting stops on the other end. So then once we finally got some stops, and I thought the zone helped us a lot, just very active.”

Cleary led the Dolphins with 23 points, including 15 in the first half, and eight rebounds. His 23 points are a career high during his four seasons at an NCAA institution. Sophomore guard Trent Mosquera (Brookline, Mass./Belmont Hill School) and freshman guard AJ Dancler (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport) each tallied 10 points off the bench, while Dancler added four rebounds.

Sean Moore led the Knights with a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds, including 13 points and seven rebounds in the second half.

After Terrence Brown put the Knights up 12-7 with a three-pointer with 15:36 left in the first half, the Dolphins got three-pointers from Cleary and graduate student forward Luke Sutherland (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee/Siena/Bryant) to take the lead.

The teams went back and forth the remainder of the half as the lead changed sides seven times and the score was tied on four occasions. FDU had a four-point lead twice in the span, while Le Moyne’s largest lead of the stretch was two.

Following a 7-5 spurt by the Dolphins over the opening two and one-half minutes of the second half to take a 40-39 lead, the Knights scored 14 of the next 16 points to take a 53-42 advantage with 14:57 to go. Moore drained three consecutive three-pointers and then Brown hit one of his own and Brayden Reynolds made two foul shots.

After four points from each team over the next three minutes, Mosquera buried a three-pointer and Heru Bligen answered with a jumper to put the Knights up 59-49 heading into the under-12 media timeout with 11:03 remaining.

Out of the timeout, the Dolphins rattled off the next 18 points to take control of the game. Cleary started the run with two free throws, Mosquera drained a three-pointer, Dancler made a fast-break shot in the paint off a steal and then redshirt freshman forward Nate Fouts (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles/Kimball Union Academy) evened the score at 59 with a jumper and a free throw on separate possessions. Dancler then drilled back-to-back three-pointers in a span of 49 seconds to put the Dolphins in front by six to force an FDU timeout. After two empty possessions by each team out of the timeout, Mosquera knocked down a jumper to cap the run.

Jo’El Emanuel made a lay-up with 5:08 left to end Le Moyne’s run and FDU’s scoring drought of 6:21.

Neither team scored over the next 3:34 until Moore had a put-back lay-up off a missed free throw to get the Knights within 67-63.

Dancler made two free throws with 1:19 left and then graduate student guard Isaiah Salter (Charlotte, N.C./Central Cabarrus/American International/Adelphi) made two with 46 seconds remaining and another with 29 seconds to go. Following two more empty possessions by the Knights, junior forward Ocypher Owens (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep/Indian River State) closed out the scoring with six seconds left.

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