Junior DeAnte Bruton dropped in a team-high 27 points to lift the No. 17 Nichols College men's basketball team to a 107-93 win over Gordon College Wednesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Bennett Center.
Sophomore Matt Morrow posted a double-double with 21 points and 11 boards and senior Marcos Echevarria netted 26 points in 40 minutes as the Bison (22-2, 14-1 CCC) extended their win streak to 12 and secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. They will receive a first-round bye and host a semifinal contest on Thursday, February 21 at 7 p.m.
The Fighting Scots (21-3, 13-2 CCC) received a combined 66 points from Garrisson Duvivier (34) and Eric Demers (32). They held a slim 41-39 edge on the glass behind 15 boards from Devivier but saw the Bison turn 15 turnovers into 29 points; the Fighting Scots scored 10 points of TO's.
Nichols held a 10-point halftime lead behind 13 points from Echevarria, 12 from Morrow, and 10 from Bruton. Devivier, meanwhile, recorded 20 points and seven rebounds in the opening stanza. The Bison then opened up a 12-point lead eight minutes into the second half following a basket by sophomore Nate Tenaglia.
A quick 6-0 run brought the Fighting Scots to within six points at 73-67 with 7:34 on the clock, but a 3-point play and a triple from Bruton restored a 12-point edge. Junior Jerome Cunningham threw down a dunk at 4:52 to extend the lead to 16.
Three things you need to know...
-Tonight's contest marked the 45th all-time meeting between Nichols College and Gordon College. The Bison have won nine of the last 10 meetings and lead the series, 25-20.
-With the win, Nichols has now reached 22 wins in each of the past four seasons.
-Echevarria has now canned at least one three-pointer in an NCAA-record 97 consecutive games, a mark which spans Divisions I, II, and III. Additionally, he is now No. 3 all-time in Division III history with 453 three-pointers. Next up is Amir Mazarei (Redlands, 2004-07) with 470.
"The guys were fired up. It was a high-level, Division III basketball game with talented student-athletes making plays. Gordon is a tough and well-coached team. We played with a ton of energy and battled every possession. We were able to play at a fast pace and create some fast break points off steals." –Nichols head coach Scott Faucher
Saturday, February 16 vs Wentworth, 3:00 p.m.