By Brian Willwerth
BOSTON, MA – In a turnover-filled, whistle-plagued game, the Emmanuel College Saints defeated the Rivier College Raiders Monday night for the second time in three days in a GNAC contest at the Jean Yawkey Center, 65-51.
Both teams got off to slow starts. There were zeros on the scoreboard for more than three minutes in until the Raiders scored their first bucket.
It took nearly five minutes for Emmanuel to break the ice, but midway through the opening half, the Saints went on a 13-0 run to take the lead for good.
Junior Xavier Everson was one of two Saints with 18 points. He provided an exclamation point at the end of the half when he drained a buzzer-beater from just inside half-court.
The Saints led by 17 at the break, but the home team was a bit sluggish coming out of the locker room.
“When you go into halftime, it’s important to not get complacent, particularly if you’re up,” said Emmanuel head coach Jamahl Jackson. “To start the second half, we were flat… they started with the energy.”
Still, the Raiders never really threatened to take the lead in the second half, especially since both teams shot 40% from the field for the game, as well as struggled from behind the arc.
Emmanuel was just 4-of-19 from three-point range. Rivier was just 2-of-9.
With 39 combined turnovers between the schools, the Saints had a 19-10 margin in points off turnovers, and a 16-7 advantage in second chance points.
“Any coach goes crazy with turnovers,” said Jackson. “You’ve got to take care of the basketball, and you’ve got to get second shots.”
Senior Isaiah Duke also scored 18 for the Saints.
“He’s a more lead-by-example type,” said Jackson. “He’s not as vocal during the game, but he just does the job.”
Sophomore Jake Nelson led Rivier with 16 points, while sophomores Tom Poitras added 12 and Nick Walch had 10.
Emmanuel improves to 8-5 in the GNAC, while Rivier falls to 2-9.