The Newbury College men's basketball team snapped Elms College's three-game winning streak with a 69-62 victory, Tuesday evening. Junior forward Anthony Bonelli (Narragansett, R.I.) dominated the post late in the game ripping down an individual career single-game high 15 rebounds while sealing the game from the charity stripe knocking down four-of-four with under 22 seconds remaining in the contest.
Senior guard Andre French (Torrington, Conn.) helped the Blazers jump out to the early 7-1 advantage forcing two of three Newbury turnovers to start the contest. However, Nighthawk junior guard Kwame Thompson (Brockton, Mass.) came off the bench and penetrated the Blazers full court press defense, ignited a 10-5 run, netting eight points in four minutes to pull within one of the lead, 12-11.
Elms continued to keep the pressure on offensively but Newbury was not going away and continued to hang around. With just under eight minutes left in the half, senior center Peterson Bernard (Boston, Mass.) knotted up the contest at 20 before senior guard Tim Young (Brockton, Mass.) found fellow Brockton native, Thompson open at the perimeter, two possessions later to give the Nighthawks the 23-20 lead.
For the remainder of the half, the two teams battled back-and-fourth before Thompson led the Nighthawks into the locker room with a half-high 13 points and a slim, one-point, 34-33 lead.
When the teams returned to the hard-court at the start of the second half, Elms senior center Carson Miller (New Oxford, Pa.) re-gained the lead for the Blazers opening up the half with jumper. But the lead was short-lived as Thompson sparked another long, 10-2 run that gave the Nighthawks their largest lead of the game, 44-37, three minutes into the half.
The Nighthawks held a firm grasp onto the lead and exchanged baskets every time the Blazers tried to chip away at the deficit. Midway through the half Elms senior forward Jamal Hulum (Norfolk, Va.) knotted up the contest at 50. Two possessions later after sophomore guard Piere Simpson (Middletown, Conn.) tied up the contest for the fifth time on the night, senior guard James Black (Baltimore, Md.) hit one of two from the charity to give the Blazers their first lead since the start of the second half.
However, the Blazer lead was gone in a New York minute when Bernard knocked down a lay-up with just over six minutes. The Nighthawks did not look back. With five minutes remaining in the contest and Bernard in foul trouble, Bonelli came off the bench and provided the spark they needed defensively. Ripping down five boards in two minutes, the Rhode Island native sealed the deal, rejected a lay-up by French that would have brought the Blazers to within one.
Newbury jumps over .500 on the season improving to 7-6 and remains the only undefeated team in the conference at 5-0 while Elms falls to 6-7 and 5-1 in the NECC. The Nighthawks look to make it six straight conference victories when they return to hard-court on Thursday January 17th for a 7:30 p.m. tilt against Daniel Webster College.
Senior center Peterson Bernard registered his sixth double-double on the season notching a game-high 18 points while ripping down 13 boards….Junior guard Kwame Thompson followed up with 17 points while senior guard Tim Young rounded out the Nighthawk trio in double figures with 13.