NEW LONDON, N.H. – The third-seeded Anna Maria College men's basketball team drained 14 of 29 three-pointers to upset No. 2 Colby-Sawyer College, 99-90, in the 2016 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Basketball semifinals.
Anna Maria improves to 15-12 and will play top seed Nichols College in the finals, which will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Colby-Sawyer. Nichols advanced to the championship after a 102-80 victory over fifth-seeded Pine Manor in Saturday's other semifinal game. Colby-Sawyer ends its season at 19-8.
The win marks just the fifth all-time for the AMCATS against Colby-Sawyer and snaps a three-game losing streak in the series. Entering today's game, the AMCATS were 4-19 against their former Commonewealth Coast Conference foe.
The AMCATS had three players score at least 20 points in Saturday's victory led by senior Tyler Delorey (Worcester, Mass.). He had 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting including 6-of-14 from beyond the arc. Senior Patrick Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) was 7-of-14 for 23 points. Senior Kyle McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) flirted with a triple-double to finish with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and seven steals.
Colby-Sawyer was led by senior Peter Donato (Portland, Maine). He scored a game-high 28 points and added nine boards. Donato moved into tenth on the all-time scoring list with 1331. He also moved into sixth in career rebounds with 662, seventh in made field goals with 544 and tenth in career free throws with 241.
Freshman Milani Hicks (Scarborough, Maine) tallied a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Senior Wol Majong (Manchester, N.H.) collected 16 points and eight assists before fouling out. Majong ends his career ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1359 points, eighth in career steals with 159 and seventh in made free throws with 279. Freshman Taylor Grande (Bedford, N.H.) finished with 10 points and six assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The visitors raced out to a 9-3 lead after connecting on three straight three-pointers 1:33 into the contest. Colby-Sawyer retook the lead less than three minutes later after a Donato layup capped a 10-3 run. The Charger lead went to 21-14 after a Jourdain Bell (Manchester, N.H.) jumper with 14:10 to play. Colby-Sawyer held the lead for the next 13 minutes until Corey Pryor (Northbridge, Mass.) hit a trey to knot the game at 44-44 with a minute left. Neither side would score in the final minute to enter halftime tied.
Anna Maria used the momentum of scoring the final basket of the first half into a 16-4 run to begin the second. The AMCATS held a lead of at least eight for an 11-minute stretch until a pair of free throws from Donato pulled the Chargers within six with 5:35 left to play. Unfortunately for the Chargers, that would be as close as they could get down the stretch. Anna Maria hit a few free throws in the final seconds to secure the 99-90 victory.
The AMCATS shot 49.3 (34-69) percent from the floor and 48.3 (14-29) percent from beyond the arc, while limiting Colby-Sawyer to 34.3 percent (26-75).
Tune in to Sunday's championship game versus Nichols at portal.stretchinternet.com/colbysawyer. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m.