Nichols uses balanced attack to down Gordon

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DUDLEY, Mass. – All five starters scored in double-figures as the Nichols College men's basketball team earned their third-straight win with a 100-86 victory over Gordon College in Commonwealth Coast Conference action on Saturday afternoon in Dudley, Mass.
Senior Daequon Antoine led the way for the Bison, connecting on 4-of-7 three-pointers on the way to 21 points to go with five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Junior Marcos Echevarria added 20 points, three rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Tyler Dion buried 5-of-6 triples to add 19 points. Sophomore Jerome Cunningham notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, with classmate Deante Brutonadding 13 points, seven assists and three steals.
Gordon sophomore Eric Demers knocked down 10-of-14 shots, including his first eight from the field, to lead the Fighting Scots with 25 points. Junior Garrisson Duvivier recorded a double-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Senior Jaren Yang reached double-figures with 12 points and four assists, while freshman Matt Valles rounded out the top scorers with 11 points and six rebounds.
Nichols shot 52.2% (36-of-69) from the floor and knocked down 12-of-24 (50%) of its three-pointers and 16-of-25 (64%) of its free throws in the win. Gordon was just as good, connecting on 35-of-71 (49.3%) of its shots, 8-of-19 (42.1%) of its three-pointers and 8-of-14 (57.1%) of its free throws. The Fighting Scots won the rebounding battle, 42-34, but committed 16 turnovers to just nine for the home team.
The game started out as a back and forth battle as there were seven lead changes in the first half alone. After Gordon opened the game with a 6-0 run, the Bison answered quickly, and a layup from Bruton gave the Bison their first lead of the game at 9-8 with 16:34 to play. The Fighting Scots would eventually build a seven-point lead on several occasions, but a triple from Dion followed by a layup from Antoine put the Bison back in front 40-39 with 3:57 remaining.
The Bison used a 12-5 run to end the opening period and take a 52-44 advantage into the break. Marcos Echevarria notched four points in the run, with Antoine and Dion adding three points apiece.
Gordon chipped away to open the second half, trimming the Nichols lead to five on a layup from Valles, but a 6-0 run by the Bison capped by a Dion jumper pushed the lead back to 60-49. The Fighting Scots would get back to 63-57 after a layup from freshman Parker Omslaer fell, but a quick 7-0 spurt by the Bison forced a Gordon timeout with 14:54 remaining and the Bison in front 70-57.
Junior Josh Ribeiro got the Fighting Scots back to a single-digit deficit at 70-61, but back-to-back triples from Antoine and freshman Nate Tenaglia got the lead to 76-61 and forced another Gordon timeout. The 6-0 run would turn into a 14-1 stretch, as Bruton would score four points around a tip-in from freshman Matt Morrow and a dunk from Cunningham to extend the Nichols lead to 84-62 with 10:30 remaining.
Gordon would get as close as 90-77 with 5:16 to play, but Dion's fifth triple of the day iced the game to extend the lead back to 93-77. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch, but a dunk from junior Josiah Kimballwould serve as an exclamation point on the Bison's 100-86 victory.
All-Time Series
Saturday marked the 42nd meeting between the two programs, and the Bison lead the series 23-19. Nichols has won seven-straight in the matchup dating back to 2014.
Next Games
Nichols (5-1, 2-0 CCC) – Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Roger Williams, 7:30 p.m.
Gordon (1-3, 0-2 CCC) – Tuesday, Dec. 5 vs. Curry, 5:30 p.m.