Red-hot Gulls win fifth straight heading into the league playoffs
QUINCY, Mass. – Endicott men's basketball rolls into Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament play on a five-game winning streak after beating Eastern Nazarene 87-76 on the road to end the regular season.
The Gulls (17-8, 12-6 CCC) will be named the #3 seed for the conference tournament and will host either Roger Williams or Curry in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, February 21st at MacDonald Gymnasium. Official seeding information will be announced later on this evening. Endicott's 17 wins match their total from the 2010-11 season.
Eastern Nazarene (4-21, 3-15 CCC) ends their 2011-12 campaign at the bottom of the CCC standings.
It was a back-and-forth game for much of the first half with neither team holding a lead larger than five points. A layup by Alston 3:50 into the first half put Eastern Nazarene ahead 12-7 and right before halftime, Endicott's Andre Makris (Southbury, Conn.) gave the Blue and Green a 38-33 lead, part of a 13-3 run. A fast-break layup by Max Barbosa (Dorchester, Mass.) capped off the scoring at 38-35 going into the break.
Endicott's leading scorer at halftime was sophomore Lachlan Magee (Melbourne, Australi) who was 4-of-7 shooting for eight points. Magee also tallied five rebounds, three assists and a steal while playing 18 of 20 minutes. Senior forward Aaron Karkow (Uncasville, Conn.) came off the bench and provided an offensive spark with seven points in just seven minutes. The freshman duo of John Henault (Lunenburg, Mass.) and Makris each had six points.
For Eastern Nazarene, Chima Ozeigbo (Roanoke, Va.) put up nine points before collecting his third foul late in the first half. Guard Mike McCoy (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) netted eight points thanks in part to 2-of-4 three-point makes. Senior guard DeAngelo Alston (West Columbia, S.C.) dished out six assists of the Lions 13 assists in the first.
The Gulls did their part on the glass, outrebounding the Lions 25-14 in the opening half leading to 19 second chance points. Both Erik Callo (Southington, Conn.) and Henault snatched three offensive rebounds to lead the Gulls with Callo grabbing a team-high seven in the first half alone.
In the second half, Endicott used an 11-5 run early on to stretch their advantage to 49-40. Later on, Endicott built their lead up to 11 points after sophomore guard Nick Maglio (Barrington, R.I.) dished to Tyler Burkhart (Cromwell, Conn.) in the lane to make it 55-44 at the 11:22 mark.
Eastern Nazarene fought back and after back-to-back layups by Alston, the Lions were back to within five points at 59-54. A three-pointer on the next possession by Henault, however, put the Gulls ahead 62-54 with under 10 minutes to go. Down the stretch, Endicott ran the court and with fast-break layups by Magee, the Blue and Green was able to go up by as many as 14 before settling for the 87-76 road win.
Magee finished with a team-high 20 points on 9-of-15 from the floor with seven rebounds and seven assists. Makris scored 13 points with seven boards while Greene had 12 points, five assists and a steal. Henault was the last Gulls player in double figures with 11 points.
Lions forward Ezeigbo totaled a game-high 22 points with 12 rebounds, including six offensive caroms.
Endicott shot 52% from the floor compared 43% for the Lions. Both teams made six three-pointers. The Gulls dominated the glass with a 48-33 advantage. Callo finished with a team-high 11 rebounds.