BEVERLY, Mass. — In the final Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchup of the regular season, the Endicott men's basketball team doubled up the visiting Western New England University Golden Bears, 84-72, Saturday afternoon inside MacDonald Gymnasium on Senior Day.
Before the game, Endicott honored guard Kamahl Walker (Worcester, Mass.), forward Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.), guard Drew Sawyer (Norwalk, Conn.), guard Stephen Basden (Lynn, Mass.), forward Chris Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.), and guard Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) in the annual Senior Day recognition ceremony and acknowledged Sampson for joining the 1,000 career points club earlier this season on Jan. 25, 2017 at Curry.
A fast start for the Gulls (8-0) disappeared as the Golden Bears fought back to tie the score at 20 apiece with 11:16 on the clock before Endicott headed into the locker room up 41-34 at the break.
Despite trailing by double digits for most of the second stanza, the Golden Bears used an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 64-60 with 6:21 left in the game.
Sampson's electric slam at 5:21 and Motroni's fadeaway jumper at 4:55 on back-to-back possessions energized the crowd to give the Gulls the boost they needed to fend off the Golden Bears.
With 35 seconds remaining, the seniors were taken out of the game to a standing ovation as Endicott heads into the postseason undefeated at home in CCC play and eye a third-straight conference title.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott placed four student-athletes in double figures as Motroni poured in 19 points, followed by 17 from Walker, 16 from Sampson, and 13 from Basden.
- Sampson earned his fourth double-double of the season as he also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
- Walker dished out a game-best five assists to go with two steals and 17 points.
- The Gulls led by as much as 14 with 14:10 remaining in the game.
- The Gulls converted a season-high 94.4 percent of their free throws when attempted at least 10 in a game (17-of-18).
- Endicott registered its fifth 20-win season in program history.
- The Gulls are 10-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play on the home hardwood.
- The Gulls came into the game ranked No. 10 in the Northeast Region the latest NCAA DIII Men's Basketball Regional Rankings released on Feb. 15, 2017.
FOR THE FOES
- Sophomore guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) led the way with a game-high 28 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
- Graduate student guard Luis Agrait (South Hadley, Mass.) joined Pettway in double figures with 12 points and tied for the team-high with five boards.
- Endicott is 12-6 overall and 7-2 at home against WNEU in the all-time series.
- The Golden Bears won the most recent meeting before today, 74-70, earlier this season on Jan. 7, 2017, but today's win gave the Gulls the regular-season split.
The Gulls (20-5, 15-3 CCC)and Golden Bears (6-19, 4-14 CCC) wrapped up the regular season today and earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming CCC Tournament. They'll host No. 7 Salve Regina in the CCC Quarterfinals on Tuesday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m.
2017 CCC Men's Basketball Tournament
(Games hosted by the higher seed)
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Feb. 21
#8 University of New England at #1 Nichols, 7 p.m.
#7 Salve Regina at #2 Endicott, 8 p.m.
#6 Eastern Nazarene at #3 Roger Williams, 7:30 p.m.
#5 Wentworth at #4 Gordon, 7 p.m.
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 23
#1/8 winner vs. #4/5 winner, TBA
#2/7 winner vs. #3/6 winner, TBA
Finals – Saturday, Feb. 25
Semifinal winners at higher seed, TBA