Roos Win Title Game Thriller; NCAA Tourney Berth
Farmington, ME – Danny Santana and Joseph Werner both tied game-highs of 19 points as the SUNY Canton men’s basketball team earned a 72-71 victory at Maine Farmington in the North Atlantic Conference Championship game. The NAC Championship is the first for the Roos in men’s basketball as they earn the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
The men’s basketball team joins the women’s lacrosse team, who won the 2019 NAC Championship last spring, as the only teams in SUNY Canton history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Selection Show will take place on Monday, March 2nd at 12:30 PM ET on NCAA.com (show will appear live on the front page of NCAA.com at the air time).
Result: SUNY Canton 72, Maine Farmington 71Location: Dearborn Gymnasium – Farmington, MERecords: SUNY Canton (16-11) | Maine Farmington (22-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Roos led by as many as 12 in the opening half after a George Nehma layup with 7:56 to play in the first.Canton held an eight-point advantage after a Santana three-pointer with 2:27 to go but the Beavers closed the stanza on a 6-0 run to get within two at intermission.Neither team led by more than six in the second half, with the Roos holding that edge on multiple occasions. The hosts took their first lead after a pair of Jack Kane free-throws with 5:05 to play (60-59).Juztin Chambers-Phillips drained a three-pointer and was fouled converting the free-throw to give Canton a 66-63 lead with 2:52 to go.
Issac Witham responded with a trey for the Beavers and Werner hit a pair of free throws followed by an old-fashioned three-point play from Bill Ruby that gave UMF the 69-68 advantage with 2:08 left.Amir Moss converted a layup to extend the Farmington lead to 71-68 with 1:22 to go but Nehma drained a three from the top of the key and hit the ensuing foul shot to give Canton another four-point play and a 72-71 lead with 1:01 to go.
The Beavers missed a jumper on their next possession and both teams turned the ball over before Canton missed a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining.The game ultimately came down to a baseline out of bounds play for UMF with under six seconds remaining and Canton’s stifling defense limited Farmington to a last-second shot that missed the rim resulting in the Roos win. Werner and Santana led all scorers with 19 points each as Werner was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, 1-for-1 from behind the arc, and 4-for-5 from the line. He also finished with 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.Santana was 7-for-13 from the field and 5-for-10 from long distance, while Nehma tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Werner was named the NAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, while Santana and Nehma earned spots on the All-Tournament Team.Ruby paced the Beavers with 17 points, while Riley Robinson (15), Amir Moss (12), Terion Moss (11) and Jack Kane (10) all scored in double figures. Terion Moss and Kane joined Werner, Santana and Nehma as well as Maine Presque Isle’s Tevon Hines on the All-Tournament Team.
WHAT'S NEXT The Roos will advance to their first NCAA Tournament in program history. The selection show will take place on Monday at NCAA.com at 12:30 PM ET.