Paxton, Mass. - Post Grad Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, R.I.) poured-in 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor, while senior Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) scored 16 points to help lead the Anna Maria College men's basketball team to a 85-76 victory over Emmanuel College during the quarterfinal round of The Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament at The Fuller Activities Center this Tuesday. The AMCATS are now 19-7 overall, extending their unbeaten streak to 16-games and will advance to host Saint Joseph's College during the semifinals on Thursday night. The loss knocks the Saints from the Tournament and drops their overall mark to 6-20.
Peterson had a terrific game, adding 12 rebounds to go along with his team high 21 points to notch his fourth double-double of the season. Click finished the game 7-of-15 from the floor, with 5 assists, two steals and a block, while senior Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) had 15 points, nine rebounds and 4 steals. Sophomore Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) also played well, netting 10 points with five assists off the bench.
The Saints were paced by senior Connor Morgan (Glocester, RI) who led all scorers with
a career-high 33 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, including 5-of-6 from three point range. Classmate Michael Mailhot (Norwich, CT) joined Morgan in double figures adding 12 points and 5 steals for Emmanuel. Senior Xavier Everson (Rochester, NY) and freshman Rashad Dixon (Brockton, MA) each scored 8 points in the loss.
The teams traded baskets off the opening tip-off leading to a 10-10 tie in the first five minutes of play. Anna Maria then responded with a 15-7 run, feeding off the rambunctious crowd, en route to an eight point advantage at 25-17. With a balanced attack, six different AMCATS scored over the four minute stretch.
After consecutive buckets by the visitors put the Saints within 3 points, 28-25, Javier Bristol found a streaking Brad Peterson for a dunk to give the AMCATS a 30-25 advantage with 8:44 remaining in the first half.
With 5:35 left on the clock, the AMCATS had built a 10-point cushion on back-to-back baskets by Peterson and Daye. The two teams traded buckets the rest of the half, as the AMCATS entered the locker room holding a 47-37 advantage.
Anna Maria shot 64.3% in the first half from the field compared to Emmanuel's 48.4% and held a 16-12 rebounding advantage. Morgan and Peterson led both squads with 13 points.
An opening second half basket by Brad Peterson gave the AMCATS their largest lead of the night at 49-37 but the Saints refused to go down quietly. Emmanuel started to chip away at the lead, putting together a jumper by Brandon Jones and five points from Morgan to trim the lead to 57-54 with 14:20 to play. A pair of Rashad Dixon free throws made it 62-60 just three minutes later.
Click responded with three consecutive baskets to put AMC up 68-64; however a pair of Saints free-throws and an Everson layup tied the game at 68-68. The teams once again traded baskets and with 3:38 left the score was even at 74.
Anna Maria responded with a Peterson layup but Emmanuel countered with a Mailhot jumper in the paint and we remained tied at 76-all. On the AMCATS ensuing possession, and the Saints playing a tenacious defense, Anthony Click hit a turnaround fade-away jumper from the top left corner of the key with no time left on the shot-clock to give the AMCATS the lead for good and sent the #AMCATnation crowd into an uproar. Anna Maria would outscore the Saints 9-0 down the stretch for the 85-76 victory.
The AMCATS return to the hardwood on Thursday night at 7:00 pm when they host Saint Joseph's College at The Fuller Activities Center in the GNAC Tournament Semifinals.