The Newbury College men's basketball completed the season sweep, defeating Becker College, 61-56, Saturday afternoon. Senior center Peterson Bernard (Boston, Mass.) registered his 10th double-double of the season, tallying 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds while recording three blocks en route to the five-point victory.
Newbury jumped out in front early. Junior guards Steve Rosemond (Everett, Mass.) and Eric Watson (New Rochelle, N.Y.) gave the Nighthawks a quick 6-0 advantage knocking down back-to-back treys but the Hawks answered. Junior guard Mike Russell (East Hampton, N.Y.) capped off an 8-0 run to give Becker their first lead of the game.
It was a back-and-forth battle for the majority of the game. After Rosemond put the Nighthawks back on top draining his second trey in the early minutes, Becker first year forward Rashaun Liggon (Elizabeth, N.J.) sparked a 9-0 run to give the Hawks their largest lead of the half, 21-14. However, the Nighthawks responded with another long run of their own. Senior guard Tim Young (Brockton, Mass.) found sophomore guard Milciades Carrasco (Haverhill, Mass.) wide open at the perimeter to cap off a 10-2 run to re-gain the lead for Newbury with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
Two minutes later after tying up the contest, for the second time in the half, at 24 netting one-of-two from the charity stripe, Russell drained his third trey of the game to give Becker the 28-24 advantage. Newbury junior guard Kwame Thompson (Brockton, Mass.) cut the deficit back down to two with a quick lay-up in the pain on the next possession however it still appeared as if the Hawks would own the lead going into the locker room.
But the Nighthawks got one last chance before the clock expired. After forcing a turnover, Thompson found his fellow Brockton native, Young at the far-side perimeter for a quick trey to give Newbury the 29-28 advantage going into the break.
When the teams emerged from the locker rooms at the start of the second half, the Nighthawks continued to build on their lead, opening up the second with an 8-2 run to take a 37-30 lead, 6:15 into the period. But the Hawks were pesky and hung around. Following back-to-back treys from sophomore guard Donovan Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn.) to cut the deficit to just one, 37-36, Russell answered with his fourth three-pointer of the game to give the Hawks their first lead, 39-37, at 12:50.
In a half that had five ties, four of them came in the next five minutes before the Nighthawks began to pull away. With just under eight minutes remaining in regulation, Bernard tied up the contest for the seventh and final time then converted the three-point play to give Newbury the 48-47 lead and they did not look back, outscoring the Hawks, 32-28 in the second half.
Dishing out a game-high five assists, Rosemond led four Nighthawks in double figures registering a team-high 16 points while Bernard, Watson and Young rounded out the Nighthawk foursome in double digits with 12 points.
Russell led the way for the Hawks despite the loss registering a double-double, netting a game-high 19 points with 11 boards while sophomore forward Yahmad Rountree(Waterbury, Conn.) followed up with 12 points.
Newbury improves to 8-1 in the conference and 10-8 overall while Becker falls to 10-8 and 6-3 in NECC action. The Nighthawks return to the hard-court on Tuesday January 29th when they host Regis College (5-13, 5-4 NECC) at 8:00 p.m.
There were a total of 12 lead changes…Newbury outscored Becker under the glass, 20-12, as well as 10-6 on second chance points…Sweeping the season series, Newbury now has won the last two meetings between the two teams after losing the 10 previous contests.