NEWPORT, R.I. – Junior point guard Barrett Hanlon broke a 56-56 deadlock with a 10-foot jumper on the wing with five seconds remaining, and Salve Regina University men’s basketball survived a buzzer-beating game-winning attempt by Mike Gelineau to defeat visiting Western New England University, 58-56, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
Salve Regina (6-18, 3-14 CCC) found itself in a tie game nearly 24 minutes after a 21-point lead had evaporated. Gelineau, who led all players with 25 points, hit three 3-pointers and a layup in a span of 1:18 to knot the game with 17 seconds left.
After Gelineau’s layup, Hanlon dribbled up past half court where head coach Sean Foster called a timeout with 10 seconds remaining. Foster and his wife, Jennifer, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a son, on Monday morning. Hanlon’s game-winning basket may have his head coach sleeping like a baby tonight.
The 5-foot-10 junior received the inbound pass in the backcourt guarded by Luis Agrait (South Hadley, Mass.) who momentarily slipped as Hanlon accelerated his dribble into the forecourt. Hanlon pulled up for his short jumper, shoulders square to the basket and banged it home.
Gelineau nearly had the final say on heroics, squaring off for a 3-pointer right in front of his bench just as he had done three other times in the final two minutes. He finished six of 15 from long range.
Salve Regina’s miscues on front ends of bonus free-throw shooting gave Western New England its opportunity to snatch a victory after trailing, 30-9, with 5:11 remaining in the first half.
The Seahawks honored their four senior members – Joshua Jordan (Randolph, Mass.), John King (Cranston, R.I.), Eric MacKinnon (South Easton, Mass.), and Scott St. Lawrence (Litchfield, Mass.) – with a pre-game ceremony and all four started alongside Hanlon, who dished two assists early. All four seniors impacted the scoring for the Seahawks.
After a Zack Askew (Middletown, Conn.) layup started the scoring, Jordan’s jumper tied the score and MacKinnon’s corner three gave Salve Regina its first lead. The Seahawks never trailed again.
King’s first 3-pointer started a 25-4 run for Salve Regina which covered nine and a half minutes. Bryce Boggs (Hyde Park, Mass.) and Chris O’Keefe (Lexington, Mass.) joined their senior mates in the long-range shooting.
Western New England ended the first half with a 9-2 run, and then started the second half outscoring Salve Regina, 18-7, to close within three points (39-36 at 12:04).
Adam Quinlan (East Walpole, Mass.) hit two layups during a 15-6 run for Salve Regina which bumped its lead to 12 (54-42) with 4:30 on the clock. Hanlon had the final four points for the Seahawks, a layup at 1:44 and his game-winning jumper at 0:05.
Musa Elsir (Springfield, Mass.) scored 16 points for the Golden Bears and had a team-high six rebounds. Boggs finished with a dozen points for the Seahawks who were led in rebounding by junior Brenden Fowler (No. Attleboro, Mass.) with seven boards.
Salve Regina, which evened the all-time series at eight wins apiece, finishes its regular season at Curry College on Saturday while Western New England revs up for its postseason run with one last CCC game at Endicott College.