Senior Marcos Echevarria netted a game-high 26 points in Nichols College's 76-69 win over Endicott College Tuesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball action at MacDonald Gymnasium.
The reigning two-time CCC Player of the Year also picked up seven rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes of action for the Bison (17-2, 9-1 CCC), who ran their win streak to six games and remained in a first-place tie with Gordon College. Sophomore Matt Morrow registered a double-double with 10 points and 14 boards.
Vinny Clifford came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points for the Gulls (12-6, 5-4 CCC), who also received 14 points – including four 3-pointers – from Matt McDevitt. Endicott shot 40 percent from the field, forced 14 turnovers, and canned 91 percent of its free throws (10-of-11).
The Bison shot just 30 percent in the first half and trailed by two at the break as Echevarria had eight on just 3-of-12 shooting. McDevitt led all student-athletes with 11 first-half points as the Gulls knocked down 44 percent of their attempts from the floor.
Nichols opened the second half on a 17-4 run and moved in front by 11 (47-36) following a layup by Morrow 4:47 into the stanza. The Gulls cut the lead to four less than two minutes later before five points from junior DeAnte Bruton and a layup form Morrow helped push the NC lead to 12 with under nine minutes remaining. A layup from Echevarria with 4:41 on the clock made it a 16-point Bison lead (70-54).
Three things you need to know...
-Tonight's contest marked the 33rd all-time meeting between Nichols College and Endicott College. The Bison have now won four-straight and six of the last seven against the Gulls, who still lead the series 18-15.
-The Bison outrebounded the Gulls 47-37 behind Morrow's 14 and eight from Bruton. Clifford snared nine to pace Endicott.
-Nichols held Endicott leading scorer Keith Brown – who entered the contest No. 2 in the conference in scoring – to 12 points (4-of-12), thanks in large part to the defensive effort of sophomore Nate Tenaglia.
"It was a battle. We didn't shoot well in the first half, but our defense kept us in the game. We played with better pace and made shots to go on a nice run early in the second half." –Nichols head coach Scott Faucher
Saturday, January 26 @ Salve Regina, 3:00 p.m.