Twenty-seven point output by Makris lifts Endicott to CCC win over Nichols
BEVERLY, Mass. – Behind a 27-point outburst by Gulls freshman forward Andre Makris (Southbury, Conn.), the Endicott men's basketball team defeated Nichols 93-83 and halted a three-game losing skid in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play.
Makris scored 18 of his 27 points in the first half, drained four of Endicott's eight three-pointers in the first half, and blocked four shots on the defensive end in an overall solid performance by the first year player. Makris was also among the team's leaders in rebounding with eight caroms.
The Bison fell behind early in the game, trailing by as many as 21 points midway through the first half, but strong three-point shooting by freshman guard Marlon Bennett (Stratford, Conn.) down the stretch pulled Nichols to within 10 in the second stanza. Bennett finished with a team-high 18 points off the bench, 15 of which came in the second half, but the Gulls held on to avenge their January 10th loss to Nichols in Dudley.
In the early going, the Blue and Green took the initial advantage on a three-ball by Makris on the game's first possession. Nichols responded by taking an 8-7 lead just 2:32 into game on a fast-break layup by freshman point guard Jessy Michaud (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Michaud was one of four Bison in double figures with 11 points and played the point well, dishing out four assists.
The Gulls quickly responded on a John Henault (Lunenburg, Mass.) three-pointer to regain the lead which sparked a 16-3 run capped off at the 13:13 mark of the first half on another long range make by Henault, with an assist to sophomore Tyler Burkhart (Cromwell, Conn.) which forced a Nichols timeout. Henault had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three, while Burkhart assist was one of four on the day.
Midway through the half with the Gulls up 31-18, Endicott sophomores Burkhart and Lachlan Magee (Melbourne, Australia) scored nine of the next 10 points to make it 40-19 with 9:03 remaining until halftime. Burkhart finished in double figures with 13 points off the bench with six boards.
Endicott went into halftime with a 17-point halftime advantage after a late run by the Bison, courtesy of back-to-back fast-break layups by Jalen Graham (Ansonia, Conn.). Nichols also saw junior Craig Merrick (Ledyard, Conn.) sink two three-point attempts to help the visitors get back in the game.
In the second half, Nichols started off hot on a 6-0 run with freshman guard Matt Langadas (Casco, Maine) getting two layups. Langadas scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half and finished 6-of-11 from the field.
The Gulls, however, relied on strong play off the bench from sophomores Bennett Knowlton (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Nick Maglio (Barrington, R.I.) to help maintain Endicott's double-digit advantage. Knowlton turned in one of his best performances of the season with 13 points, six rebounds, and two blocks while Maglio was a reliable ball handler and added six points, including important free throws down the stretch.
Nichols trimmed Endicott's lead to single digits with 2:12 to go after a Joe Gallant (Salem, N.H.) tip-in and free throw following the foul, but two buckets by Makris in the final moments of the game helped solidify the 93-83 league win.
Endicott's Tanner McEntee (Del Mar, Calif.) in 22 minutes scored nine points with a team-high 10 rebounds and three steals. On the glass for Nichols, Mike Salis (Nashua, N.H.) and Gallant were effectively with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
The Blue and Green look to win back-to-back games when they host CCC opponent Western New England on Saturday, February 4th at 3:00 pm. The Gulls defeated the Golden Bears 78-58 back on January 7th. Nichols plays host to Wentworth on Saturday at noon, looking to avenge a seven point loss to the Leopards back on January 7th.