Champion leads the way for Le Moyne in win over Mercy

Syracuse, N.Y. - Junior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) scored 16 points in the second half to lead the Le Moyne College men's basketball team to a 67-56 win over Mercy College in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon at Ted Grant Court.

Champion added a game-high six assists and four rebounds to his game-high point total. Junior forward Brian Zapisek (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) registered his first double-double of the year with 12 points and a career high-tying 12 rebounds, while junior center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) also tallied 12 points. Senior guard Derrek Tartt (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick/UAlbany) filled the stat sheet with six points, five rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals, the most by a Dolphin since classmate Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) recorded five at Stonehill on January 14, 2012.

Khiry Gordon and Remi Mignott recorded 12 points apiece to lead Mercy in scoring, while Gordon pulled down 10 rebounds. Kirk Bailey was the third Maverick in double figures with 10 points.

The teams went back-and-forth in the first half, with the lead changing hands four times, the score being tied three times and neither team holding more than a four point lead. The Mavericks scored the first five points on a Chaz Morrish three-pointer and a Mignott fast-break lay-up, while the Dolphins answered with a three-pointer from Mohamed and a lay-up by sophomore forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy).

After Mercy took a 9-5 lead with 16:13 left in the half, freshman guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) hit a three-pointer and then fed Romich for a pair of lay-ups to give the Dolphins a 12-9 advantage with 14:16 remaining.

The Mavericks took their largest lead of the half, 17-13, with an 8-1 run over the next 3:37. Mignott had a lay-up, Nate Stitchell had a pair of fast-break lay-ups and then Terrance Murchie converted a fast-break lay-up.

Le Moyne reversed the four-point margin with the game's next eight points. Tartt ignited the run with a fast-break lay-up and then Janson had a pair of dunks around a Zapisek tip-in.

After P.J. Walters and Zapisek traded three-pointers to make the score 24-20 with 4:34 remaining, Mercy tallied eight straight points, led by four free throws from Bailey. Romich had a lay-up and Gordon made a free throw to give the Mavericks a 29-26 lead at halftime.

The Dolphins opened the second half with eight of the first 10 points to take the lead. Mohamed tied the score and 29 with a three-pointer and Zapisek followed with a lay-up and a three-pointer for a 34-31 advantage.

After Champion got on the scoreboard with a lay-up at the 15:05 mark to give the Dolphins a 36-33 lead, the Mavericks regained the lead with seven straight points, including a go-ahead three-pointer by Stitchell.

Following back-and-forth play over the next five and one-half minutes, which resulted in a 48-44 Mercy lead with 7:33 remaining, the Dolphins scored six straight points to take the lead, which they would not relinquish. Champion started the push with a jumper and a lay-up 37 seconds apart to tie the score at 48, while Janson put the Dolphins in front with two free throws with 4:53 remaining.

After Joseph Pope made a fast-break lay-up with 2:18 left to tie the score at 54, the Dolphins took the lead for good with six straight points. Zapisek put the Dolphins in front with 2:00 left with a lay-up off a feed from Tartt. Janson then scored in the paint off a pass from Tartt and Champion followed with a pair of free throws.

Mignott finished off Mercy's scoring with two free throws with 47 seconds left, while Champion made four foul shots, Tartt made two and Mohamed converted a free throw in the final 43 seconds for the Dolphins.

Le Moyne (6-3), which has won eight straight non-conference games, returns to action on Wednesday at Dominican for the first day of the 7th Annual James Clancy Memorial Tournament. Tip-off with the Chargers is at 7:30 p.m.

**Courtesy Le Moyne Athletics**

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