OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Stevenson men's basketball freshman Christian Roberts (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored a game-high 22 points while junior Alfonzo Hawkins (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City) scored all 12 of his in a decisive second half as the Mustangs defeated Messiah 69-64 victory Wednesday at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
With the win, Stevenson (14-8, 7-8 MAC) guaranteed itself of its first winning season since 2006-07 and moved within one game of qualifying for the 2013 Commonwealth Conference Men's Basketball Championship.
Messiah (12-9, 8-7 MAC) fell into a three-way tie for third-place with Lycoming and Arcadia as all three teams are currently 8-7 in Commonwealth Conference contests. Lycoming fell at Lebanon Valley 84-75 Wednesday while Arcadia fell to first-place Alvernia at home, 64-47.
With the game tied at 57-57 with 5:23 remaining in the second half, the Mustangs used a 9-3 run over the next 4:57 to take a six-point lead, 66-60 with 26 seconds to play. Hawkins scored six of his 12 points during the run while senior Brett Burrier (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) added a three-point play.
From there, Stevenson hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 14 seconds to preserve its ninth home win of the season.
The Mustangs were 12-of-14 from the free throw line in the second half while holding the Falcons without a single attempt after being whistled for just four second-half fouls. Stevenson was 19-of-22 from the line for the game.
Roberts added four rebound and four assists to go along with his 22 points while Burrier finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Burrier, who has 1,035 points in 89 career games, now has 988 in 67 games in a Stevenson uniform.
Freshman Tyrus Costly (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances) had a game and career-high eight rebounds.
Taylor Groff had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Messiah while Brad Bolen had 15 points. Christyan DeVan had six points, six rebounds and six assists.
Stevenson travels to Albright on Saturday for a 4:00 p.m., contest with the Lions. The Mustangs will look to avenge an 84-81 loss to the Lions from earlier this season on December 15.