The Newbury College men's basketball team completed the come-back, defeating visiting Elms College in overtime, 75-74, Saturday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action. Sophomore guard Eric Watson (New Rochelle, N.Y.) led four in double figures netting a team-high 19 points en route to the Nighthawks first victory in program history over the Blazers.
Elms' came into Saturday afternoon's matinee, a perfect 9-0 against Newbury and it appeared as if the Blazers were going to get their 10th victory, jumping out in front early. Junior guard Andre French (Torrington, Conn.) scored a quarter of the Blazers 41 points, dropping 11 of his game-high 26 points in the half as Elms went to the locker room with a commanding 12-point advantage.
After Elms junior forward Jamal Hulum (Reston, Va.) responded to a Tim Young (Brockton, Mass.) jumper, to start the second, with a lay-up, the Nighthawks went on a 9-0 run, lasting five minutes to pull within two points of the lead. But the Blazers had an answer. Junior forward David McDaniel (Plainfield, N.J) gave the Blazers a five point cushion, knocking down a free throw to complete the three-point play.
Similar to the women's game earlier in the afternoon, it was a back-and-fourth battle in the second. Following a 6-0 run by Elms midway through the second to push their lead back to nine, Newbury answered with an extended run of their own. First years Cameron Owen (Concord, N.H.) and Dallas Serrano (Valley Stream, N.Y.) sparked a 12-4 run draining back-to-back treys within 30 seconds as the Nighthawks trailed 56-55 with just over six minutes left in regulation.
With 5:05 remaining in regulation, Young gave the Nighthawks their first lead since senior forward Jason Marshall's (Fairburn, Ga.) lay-up 1:58 into the contest, draining a long range trey from the top of the key and sparking a 5-0 run in the process. But there was still a lot of time remaining on the clock.
Down by five, Blazer senior guard Bryant Corcoran (Waterbury, Conn.) cut the deficit to within three with 2:38 left to play before French forced overtime draining his sixth trey of the game to knot up the score at 61 and force overtime.
The Nighthawks' momentum from the second half flowed into the overtime period. Sophomore guard Steve Rosemond (Everett, Mass.) drained three-point jumper nine seconds in to grab the three point lead. After French netted one of two from the charity stripe, the Nighthawks big man, Owen, came up huge, knocking down an outside jumper to give the Nighthawks a five point cushion, which they needed as the Blazers were not going to back down.
Elms grabbed the two-point lead following back-to-back jumpers by Corcoran with 1:22 left to play but Rosemond re-gained the lead for Newbury with his fourth trey of the game and ignited a 5-0 run. And the Nighthawks needed every one of those five points as French went two for three at the free-throw line with five seconds left before sophomore forward Isaiah Odunlami (Providence, R.I.) drained a Hail Mary trey at the buzzer but the Blazers came up one point shy.
With Newbury's first victory over Elms in program history, they improve to 8-13 on the season and 5-7 in conference action while the Blazers fall to 12-8 and 7-4 in the NECC. The Nighthawks will seek to continue their winning trend when they return to action Tuesday February 7th at 5:30 p.m. against nearby rival Wheelock College, where they look to split the season series.
In the second half, Newbury was nearly perfect from the free-throw line as a team, knocking down 10 of 11 and were 19 of 26 in the game...Senior forward Jason Marshall recorded just his second double-double of the season, netting 13 points while ripping down 12 rebounds.