Men’s basketball can’t overcome early deficit, loses 65-64 to Saint Anselm


Photo courtesy of Tori Gonzalez.

New Haven’s Victor Olawoye, West Haven, Feb. 21, 2023.

In the final game of the regular season, the New Haven men’s basketball team came up short, dropping a tightly contested 65-64 game against Saint Anselm College. New Haven had a chance to come away with a dramatic win at the buzzer, but the final shot from guard Victor Olawoye came up just short. The loss keeps the team in the number four seed going into the Northeast-10 (NE-10) playoffs in hopes to get back to the conference championship for the first time since the 2019-20 season.

Saint Anselm’s offense came out firing early with a three from guard Miles Tention, who led the Hawks with 20 points. Forward Zac Taylor and guard Matt Becker added scores to take an early 9-2 lead in the first five minutes of play.

New Haven found themselves in a hole early, falling behind by nine points midway through the first half. Seven consecutive points capped off by a layup from guard Quashawn Lane set up by a steal by forward Davontrey Thomas brought the Chargers within one score of tying the game.

Guard Tyler Arbuckle responded with a jumper to put Saint Anselm back ahead by four, but Thomas knocked down his first of two three-pointers to make it a one-point game. Olawoye gave New Haven their first lead since the initial score of the game with a fastbreak layup, forcing Saint Anselm to take a timeout.

Saint Anselm took the lead right back out of the break with a layup from forward Owen McGlashan and took a four-point lead after a three from Becker with 5:06 left in the half.

New Haven could not keep up with Saint Anselm’s offense in the final minutes as the Hawks continued to score, finishing the half with a 42-35 lead.

Saint Anselm continued to add to their lead with six consecutive points to open up the second half. They would slowly start to see their lead slip away however, as New Haven’s defense found another gear and contained the Hawks’ top scorers.

Lane turned two steals into layups to help cut down the lead, a big block from forward Majur Majak, who tallied five blocks for the game. A steal by Thomas set up a layup to cut the deficit to five. New Haven’s strong play in transition made it a one-point game with 11 minutes to play, but Arbuckle knocked down another jumper to keep the Chargers from taking the lead.

Olawoye gave New Haven the lead after five consecutive points, the first of four lead changes within 1:26 of play. With just 1:02 remaining, Arbuckle gave the Hawks a two-point lead after a pair of free throws.

After missing the first free throw, Lane hit the second to cut the lead in half, setting up a dramatic end to the game with just 47 seconds to play.

Saint Anselm had possession of the ball, forcing New Haven to foul and stop the clock. A missed free throw from Arbuckle gave the Chargers a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but an errant pass from Olawoye went out of bounds and gave the ball right back to Saint Anselm.

Another missed free throw gave New Haven one final chance to win the game with three seconds left on the clock but Olawoye’s shot came up short, giving Saint Anselm a big 65-64 win to close out the regular season.

New Haven will now open the conference playoffs at home on Feb. 24 against American International College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. as the Chargers look to make a run at a conference title. More information can be found at