Hart Propels Nighthawks to Overtime Victory Against Wildcats

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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Newbury College men's basketball defeated Wheelock College, 61-56, in overtime, Saturday afternoon. Junior forward David Hart (Keene, N.H.) recorded his first collegiate career double-double netting 11 points while ripping down a game-high 14 rebounds en route to the five point victory. 

Senior swingman Andrew Kirkman (Dartmouth, Mass.) made the second of two free throws to give Wheelock a 53-49 lead with 3:59 left in regulation, but the Nighthawks defense locked up their hosts for the rest of the contest, while Watson scored the final four points of the period.  Watson canned a pair of free throws at 2:46 and later converted a layup with1:42 remaining in the half to knot the contest at 53-53 for Newbury. 

Neither team was able to put the ball in the basket in the final 102 seconds of action as the game went into overtime.  A pair of made free throws each from freshman guard Ceejae Carter (Dorchester, Mass.) and senior guard Eric Watson (New Rochelle, N.Y.)gave the Nighthawks a 57-53 cushion with 3:24 to go in overtime.  Freshman guard Derek Fournier (Johnston, R.I.) knocked down a three-pointer at the 2:22 mark to pull the Wildcats to within 57-56, but they would be the only points of the extra period for the home squad.  Junior guard Mills Carrasco (Haverhill, Mass.) buried a trey with 22 seconds left and classmate David Hart (Keene, N.H.) made one of two free throws with seven ticks left to give Newbury the final points of the contest.

Wheelock opened up an early 8-3 margin with 16:49 showing on the first half clock, but the Nighthawks put together a 22-7 stretch, fueled by nine points from Watson, to take their largest lead of the day at 25-15 with 6:32 remaining in the opening period.  The Wildcats shut down Newbury for the rest of the half, while scoring the final nine points of the period to pull to within 25-24 before going into the break. 

The Nighthawks later took a 32-27 lead, following a pair of free throw from Hart at 17:16, before Wheelock scored five straight points, capped by a three-pointer from Fournier to tie the score at 32-32 with 15:47 to play in the second stanza.  The teams played within three points of each other for the next seven-plus minutes.  Newbury owned a 41-39 lead with10:38 to go in the half, but senior guard Bunky Williams (Overtown, Fla.) gave the Wildcats the lead with a trifecta that sparked seven unanswered points and a 46-41 cushion with7:48 showing in the period.  Wheelock owned the lead for the rest of the half until Watson tied the game with the final points of regulation for the Nighthawks.

Watson led the Nighthawks, recording his seocnd double-double in as many games, tallying a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds while Carrasco rounded out the trio in double figures, netting 10 points with seven boards. 

Freshman forward Anthony Williams (White Plains, N.Y.) led the Wildcats with 18 points on 8-14 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in addition to an assist, while Fournier ended the day with 12 points, eight boards, an assist and a steal.  Freshman point guard Nicholas Fenton (East Hartford, Conn.) led all playmakers with eight assists and added two points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.  Freshman guard Joseph Dionisio (Rowland Heights, Calif.) contributed with six points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist in his first collegiate start.

Newbury improves to 1-5 in conference action and 1-14 while Wheelocks drops to 0-13 and 0-6 in the NECC. The Nighthawks return to action action on Tuesday January 21st when they host Regis College at 6:00 p.m. The Wildcats will also be in action on Tuesday when they travel down the road to Cambridge, Mass. to tip-off against NECC rival Lesley University at 8:00 p.m. 

-- Game Story By: Alan Wickstrom, Sports Information Director -- Wheelock College