ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The College of Saint Rose allowed a 20-point halftime advantage to slip away in the final seconds before hanging on for an 83-81 victory against visiting Northeast-10 Conference rival American International in its regular-season home finale Monday night.

Sophomore forward Josh McGettigan buried a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining to provide the final margin. A desperation heave by Yellow Jackets junior forward Frankyn Batista fell short as the final buzzer sounded.

“It was a tale of two halves and I thought we stayed the course and made the plays down the stretch that needed to be made to secure the win. Obviously Josh made two clutch free throws and having five guys in double figures played a huge part in the result,” said head coach Mike Perno.

American International (6-21/3-15 NE10) got to within five, 76-71, with 3:31 remaining after Batista finished a fast break and was still within six, 78-72, a minute later when graduate student guard Xion Golding went 1-for-2 from the line.

On the next trip up the floor, fifth-year guard Adam Anderson grabbed his own miss and freshman guard Tray Alexander knocked down a 3-pointer from about five-feet beyond the top of the arc that allowed Saint Rose (12-1/9-9 NE10) some breathing room at 81-72 with 2:21 to go.

However, the Yellow Jackets rattled off nine unanswered points to deadlock the game after senior guard Shyheim Hicks converted the second of his two chances from the stripe with 32 seconds remaining.

The Golden Knights held the ball for a final shot that led to McGettigan going to the line after he was fouled while trying to get to the rim from the baseline.

Alexander and freshman forward Shane O’Dell led the quintet of Saint Rose players in double-figures scoring with 15 points apiece. Sophomore swing Cartier Bowman finished with 14, while Anderson and sophomore forward Eric Fleming added 10 apiece. O’Dell also hauled in a team-high seven boards.

Battista and freshman forward Tyrae Washington both recorded “double-doubles” for American International. The former recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Washington wound up with 15 points and 10 boards as well.

Overall, the Golden Knights shot 58.3 percent (21-for-36) from the floor in the first period, but converted only 33.3 percent (8-for-24) of their attempts and were outrebounded 23-12 throughout the final 20 minutes.

Looking ahead, the home-and-home series wraps up tomorrow at American International. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm. It will be the last regular season game of the year for both squads. The NE10 Championship bracket is expected to be announced late tomorrow night with first-round games set for Friday.

Notes: Tonight marks the second leg of a three-game, four-day stretch for the Golden Knights…O’Dell is fifth among the NE10 leaders with a 19.3 scoring average, and stands ninth with 7.1 rebounds per game…Alexander and Anderson are averaging 12.9 ppg and 11.6 ppg respectively…Alexander has been in double-figures scoring throughout 12 of the past 13 contests, and has averaged 19.2 points during the last five games…He is seventh in the country and tops the NE10 with a 6.1 assists average…He also leads the league with 2.4 steals per outing…Anderson sits 16th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,345 career points…He needs 21 more to move ahead of Andre Pope (2009-13) into 15th place.

John Pesce ’86 Memorial Award: The John Pesce ’86 Memorial Award was presented to Kevin Lynch prior to tonight’s game. The award was established by John’s family, friends, and teammates. It is given to a basketball player who embodies his spirit and commitment to team and school. A current men’s basketball player and a women’s basketball player are recognized with the award alternatively on an annual basis. John graduated from Saint Rose in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was a loyal member of the Golden Knights men’s basketball team from 1984-86. In 2015, he passed away following a courageous battle with brain cancer. John is remembered as a loyal teammate, both on and off the court. He had a never-quit attitude, strong work ethic and a love of basketball, which endeared him to not only his teammates and friends, but also his competitors. He furthermore exemplified the core values of being a Saint Rose alumnus by living his life as a motivated and caring citizen.