DOBBS FERRY, N.Y.- Keon Williams (Hackensack, NJ/Hackensack/Iona College) led five Setters in double figures with 21 points along with a game-high 11 rebounds as the men's basketball team held off the Mavericks of Mercy College 94-86 in non-conference action. Pace improves to 6-3 overall on the season, while Mercy falls to 0-8.
The Setters got off to a strong start as they held leads of 15-9 in the first five minutes and led by as much as seven points at 25-18 at the midpoint of the opening half. Mercy netted the next eight points to briefly take a one point lead at 26-25 but Williams' tip-in put the Setters back in the lead by a point.
Pace extended their lead to six points late in the half on a Salvatore Vitello (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) triple. The Mavericks rallied to even the score at 41 with 1:13 left in the half but Vitello connected on a trifecta with 34 seconds to go to give the Setters a 44-41 lead at halftime.
The Setters opened the second half with a 15-4 run capped off by a David Eismeier (Burke, VA/Bishop O'Connell) triple at the 15:52 mark that gave Pace their biggest lead of the game at 59-44. Mercy chipped away and pulled to within six points at 66-60 with 9:47 to play in the game. Pace answered as they pushed their lead back into double digits at 77-65 with 6:56 remaining in the game.
The Mavericks answered again as they rallied to close to within four points at 90-86 with 38 seconds left in the game. The Setters held off the Mavericks in the waning seconds as they went 4-for-6 at the line with Ahmad George (Bowie, MD/Archbishop Carroll) hitting 1-of-2 and Denzel Primus-Devonish (Riverdale, MD/St. John's College) going 3-for-4 with the final two coming with 2.9 seconds on the clock to seal the deal for the Setters.
For the Setters, five players scored in double-digits led by Williams' double-double as he finished with seven offensive rebounds in the game. Vitello had a career day as he shot 3-for-5 from downtown for a career high 18 points along with three assists and two steals. Jonathan Merceus (Union, NJ/Union) tallied 16 points and seven rebounds, while Kai Smith (Upper Marlboro, MD/St. Mary's Ryken) chipped in 14 points and two steals. Primus-Devonish rounded out the top scorers for Pace as he tallied 10 points along with four rebounds and three assists. The 94 points was the first time the Setters breached the 90-point barrier since defeating Felician College 90-75 at the UMass Lowell Tournament on November 13, 2010.
The Setters are off until Monday, December 31 as they will close of the 2012 calendar year with a home contest against non-conference foe Concordia College at the Goldstein Fitness Center for a 2 pm tip-off.