Main and Rice lauded by NECC, Wheelock men draw sportsmanship award

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BOSTON, MA - Wheelock College men's basketball senior Daniel Main (Hopedale, MA/Hopedale) and junior Eric Rice (Woburn, MA/Woburn) each earned New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) all-league honorable mentions on Monday, as the two were among 15 players across eight NECC squads to draw laurels. As a team, the Wildcats were honored with the NECC Sportsmanship Award.

Main earned an honorable mention for the second straight season, while Rice snagged his first accolade, joining Main and Sherard Robbins '10 as the lone players in the program's four-year history to draw all-conference nods. This marked the second time in four years that a pair of Wildcats landed all-league honors. Wheelock also earned its second sportsmanship award, and the team's first since 2007-08, when it was a member of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) during its initial season of competition.

A second-year captain, Main approached last year's career-high 13.8 points, finishing with 13.3 this winter while totaling career bests of 5.6 rebounds per contest, 83.1-percent free-throw shooting and 44 assists. Main is third in the NECC in foul shooting and ranked eighth during league play in scoring. A consistent contributor, he recorded at least 12 points 19 times and at least five rebounds 19 times. He finished his four years at Wheelock first in program history in career three-pointers (130), free throws (286) and games played (105), having made 99 starts, while placing second in points (1,180), rebounds (474) and field goals (382). His 103 free throws this season tied a school record, and he hit at least 30 threes for the third straight season.

A versatile 6-foot-9 center, Rice is one of only two NECC players to be among the top 10 in both scoring and rebounds and among the top five in blocks. Despite missing two games, Rice set career highs in scoring (14.3), rebounding (6.7), field-goal shooting (42.9%) and free-throw shooting (77.8%). His 29 blocks were three short of his personal best, and he also dished off 39 assists. Rice notched five double-doubles and netted at least 20 points six times, and had at least seven rebounds 11 times and blocked multiple shots nine times. Heading into his senior season, Rice is second all time at Wheelock with 77 career blocks, as well as third with 791 points.

Under fourth-year head coach John Preziosa, Wheelock posted a 10-16 record, including 6-8 in the NECC. Since winning one contest during the team's first season, the Wildcats have notched a double-digit victory total each of the past three winters. Wheelock, which suffered 10 of its losses by nine points or fewer, drew the fifth seed in the NECC Tournament before dropping a 68-61 decision to No. 4 Newbury College during the quarterfinals.