JACKSON NOTCHES 100TH CAREER WIN, AS SAINTS TOP LIONS
BOSTON, Mass. - Emmanuel Head Coach Jamahl Jackson earned his 100th career win on Saturday afternoon, when he led the Saints Men's Basketball Team to a 64-48 win over cross-town rival Emerson College. The Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest was the second half of a GNAC double-header played in Emmanuel's Jean Yawkey Center. This was the third-straight GNAC win for the host Saints, who improved to 7-9 on the season and 6-3 in conference play. The loss dropped Emerson to 1-15 overall and 1-8 in the league.
The Saints opened up a 17-5 lead in the early going, when junior guard Michael Mailhot (Norwich, Conn.) dialed in from downtown on consecutive possessions. A conventional three-point play by senior forward Isaiah Duke(Albany, N.Y.) put the Saints up 20-5 with 11:36 remaining in the half.
Two three-balls from junior swingman Connor Morgan (Chepachet, R.I.) stretched the Saints' lead to 26-5 at the ten-minute mark. Emmanuel held on to its twenty-point lead and a pair of free throws from freshman guard Evan Woicik (Somers, Conn.) put Emmanuel up, 32-11 with 4:51 left in the half.
Another trifecta from Morgan extended the spread to twenty-six points at 39-13 with two minutes left. An Emmanuel field goal down the stretch gave the hosts a 41-14 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Emmanuel's defense held the Lions to just six first-half field goals, as Emerson shot 20.7% (6-29) from the floor in the first twenty minutes of play. The Saints out-rebounded the Lions, 26-13, in the opening frame. Emmanuel was paced by a balanced first-half offensive attack, with four different players netting multiple hoops, as the Saints shot 53.6% (15-28) from the field.
The Saints were led by 12 points from Morgan, who drained four from behind the arc in the first half. Duke added 9 points, while Mailhot and Theo Robinson (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with 8 points for the Saints. Emerson's first-half high-scorer was freshman forward Patrick Lowndes (Granby, Conn.) with four points.
Out of the break, Emerson's senior guard Carlos Negrete (Mission Viejo, Calif.) hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to cut the Lions' deficit to 48-24. Scoreless play ensued over the following four minutes, before Lowndes scored a bucket in the paint and was fouled. Emerson senior Drew Venter (Boston, Mass.) laid one in on the break to set the score at 49-29 with 11 minutes to go. Venter then hit from downtown, capping a 20-9 Lions run and bringing Emerson back to within 16 points at 50-34 with 8:30 left to play.
Despite scrappy pressure defense by the Lions and late offensive effort from Venter and Bilali Kalilou-Mack (Windsor, Conn.), the Saints were able to hang on for the 64-48 win.
Emmanuel's balanced attack, featured a quartet of players scoring in double-figures, with Duke's 16 points leading the way. Robinson posted his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Mailhot also hit for 14 points and Morgan finished with his 12 first-half points.
Venter paced the Lions with 13 points, including 11 in the second half, off of 6 for 7 shooting. Nick Welch chipped in with 5 points and grabbed a team-high 11 boards for Emerson.
With the win, Head Coach Jamahl Jackson joins a class of six other GNAC coaches to eclipse at least 100 career wins. Among the conference win leaders are Paul Booth (Norwich), Dave Morrissette (Rivier), Jamie Benton (Johnson & Wales), Rob Sanicola (Saint Joseph's), Rico Cabral (Mount Ida) and Jim O'Brien (Emerson).