SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The four home teams in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals all protected their home court on Tuesday (Feb. 20) to earn spots in the semifinal round on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Top-seeded Nichols, which re-entered the D3hoops.com Men's Top 25 this week at No. 22, took care of No. 8 seed Western New England, 100-68, to earn the right to host on semifinal. The Bison will matchup with No. 4 seed Roger Williams, which knocked off No. 5 seed University of New England, 88-81. No. 2 seed Gordon will host the other semifinal by virtue of a 99-85 win over No. 7 seed Salve Regina. Gordon's opponent won't have to travel far however, as the Fighting Scots will meet No. 3 seed Endicott, which won 83-74 over No. 6 seed Wentworth. Tip off for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday.
The two semifinal winners earn a trip to the CCC Men's Basketball Championship which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 24. The winner will be named the CCC Tournament Champion will receive the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship.
#1 Nichols 100, #8 Western New England 68
DUDLEY, Mass. – The top-seeded No. 22 Nichols men's basketball team cruised to a 100-68 victory over No. 8 seed Western New England on Tuesday night in a CCC Quarterfinal matchup in Dudley, Mass.
The Bison improve to 23-3 overall and advance to take on No. 4 seed Roger Williams on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Athletic Center. The Hawks (18-8) fought off a pesky University of New England team to advance to the semifinals.
Western New England wraps up its season at 11-15 overall.
Five players reached double-figures for the Bison, led by a game-high 21 points, six assists, and two steals from CCC Player of the Year Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.). Senior Daequon Antoine (Fort Mill, S.C.) added 17 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.) netted 15 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals of his own. Sophomore Jerome Cunningham (Westbury, N.Y.) had an all-around game with nine points, nine rebounds, and six rebounds, with classmate Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.)registering seven points, four rebounds, and four assists.
The freshmen duo of Matt Morrow (Leicester, Mass.) and Nate Tenaglia (Tewksbury, Mass.) were the difference off the bench for the Bison as Morrow recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Tenaglia added 13 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Western New England freshman EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with 15 points, while classmate Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) chipped in 12 points, four rebounds, and three steals off the bench. CCC Rookie of the Year Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) was the final player in double-figures for the Golden Bears with 10 points and six rebounds.
A three-pointer from Echevarria gave the Bison a 21-15 lead with 10:04 remaining in the first half before the Golden Bears answered with a 9-2 run to take a 24-23 advantage with 7:59 to play. The Bison responded with a 17-0 run over the next five minutes of game action to pull ahead 40-24 with less than three minutes remaining in the period.
Western New England answered with a run of its own, scoring 10-straight points to make it a 40-34 game, but the Bison ended the half with back-to-back three-point plays from Echevarria to take a 46-34 lead into the break.
Out of the half, a 12-point lead quickly turned into a 56-34 advantage as the Bison opened the half on a 10-0 run capped by a layup from Antoine. A layup inside from Tavitian would get the Golden Bears as close as 60-41, but the Bison used another big run, this time a 15-3 stretch, to race out to a 75-44 advantage with 11:28 to play.
Western New England would only get as close as 27 the rest of the way, as the Bison lead grew to as many as 38 in the second half, helping the Bison walk away with the 100-68 victory.
Nichols shot 51.3% (39-of-76) from the field, 38.7% (12-of-31) from beyond the arc, and 66.7% (10-of-15) from the free throw line in the win. Western New England ended the game shooting 35.3% (24-of-68) from the floor, while connecting on 33.3% (9-of-27) of its three-pointers, and 68.8% (11-of-16) of its free throws. Nichols held a 54-33 advantage in rebounds, and committed only 11 turnovers to 13 for the visitors.
The Bison and Golden Bears have met 40 times since the series began in 1954, and Nichols leads the all-time series 26-14.
Game recap courtesy of the Nichols Sports Information Department.
#2 Gordon 99, #7 Salve Regina 85
WENHAM, Mass. — Gordon hosted No. 7 seed Salve Regina in the CCC Tournament Quarterfinals at the Bennett Center and shot 56.7 percent from the field in its 99-85 victory.
The Fighting Scots (18-8) started the game with a 21-11 run for a ten-point lead in the first eight minutes of action. The Seahawks (10-16) cut the deficit down to two points with a 23-15 run. Gordon brought the lead back up to 15 with a 20-7 run to make it a 56-41 game at halftime.
Jake Haar (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored 14 points and made four three-pointers in the first half. Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jake Hart (Allendale, N.J.) also reached double-digits as he scored ten points and pulled in two rebounds.
In the second half, the Fighting Scots built the lead up to 27 with a 15-1 run in the first five minutes of the half. Salve Regina managed to cut the lead down to 13 points with a 28-14 run and 6:37 left in the half. Gordon sealed the win by outscoring the Seahawks 14-13 the rest of the way.
Haar was one of six Fighting Scots to score in double figures. He finished the game with 20 points and four assists. Duvivier posted a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He also dished out five assists. Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) scored 18 points and handed out five assists.
Game recap courtesy of the Gordon Sports Information Department.
#3 Endicott 83, #6 Wentworth 74
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's basketball team defeated Wentworth, 83-74 on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the CCC Quarterfinal round.
The Gulls jumped out to a nine-point lead with just under nine minutes remaining in the first half. However, Wentworth closed the gap and even took a slight lead in the closing minutes before Endicott regained the upper hand and went into halftime up 36-31.
Endicott continued to pull away in the second half as the team hit five three-pointers in a span of four minutes (7:43-3:38 2nd half). The Leopards tried to battle back but in the end, the Gulls secured the 83-74 victory to advance in the tournament.
Matt McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) led all Endicott scorers with 22 points (8-10 FG, 6-8 3PT) and also recorded six rebounds and three blocks. Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) added 20 points and four rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Nick Thibeault (Gorham, Maine) contributed 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Joel Villa (Bronx, N.Y.) dished out seven assists and pulled down seven rebounds.
- The Gulls saw 20 points come from the bench.
- Endicott ended the game going 51.6 percent from downtown.
- The game saw four lead changes in the first half before the Gulls took the lead for good.
- Endicott is now 27-10 all-time against Wentworth.
FOR THE FOES
- Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) led all scorers with 34 points (12-27 FG, 5-10 3PT, 5-9 FT) and he also pulled down eight rebounds.
- Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) added 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) also had 11 points.
- Ellis Christmas (Elmsford, N.Y.) recorded a team-high two blocks.
Game recap courtesy of the Endicott Sports Information Department.
#4 Roger Williams 88, #5 University of New England 81
BRISTOL, R.I. — The Roger Williams men's basketball team won a high scoring game against University of New England in the CCC Quarterfinals, with a final score of 88-81.
The Hawks started the game off with all five starters scoring in the first three minutes of the half. Conor O'Brien (Sharon, Mass.) put RWU on the board first with a layup. At 16:52, Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) was able to score his 1,000th point of his college career with a layup. This would put the score to 14-2 and force UNE to call a time. The Nor'Easters then came right back with a 13-0 run capped with a three from Drew Patno (Lunenburg, Mass.) to take their first lead of the game at 15-14 with 12:50 left in the first half.
The teams traded baskets, exchanging the lead five times over the course of the next four minutes. With 8:19 left in the first half, Jake Heaton (Shelton, Conn.) hit a three that sparked a 10-2 run for the Hawks to gain back their strong lead at 30-21. The teams went back and forth until RWU was able to go on a 12-2 run in the final 3:14 of the first half to put the score at 46-30. Marini and Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) led the way for the Hawks scoring 26 of the 46 points scored.
Coene started off the second half with a layup for the Hawks. With the score at 50-35, UNE used a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to three (49-52), the lowest since 8:44 left in the first half. This run started with the help of two three-pointers from Ryan Matthews (Park Ridge, N.J.) and Daron Hoges Jr. (West Orange, N.J.). With 10:04 left, Jaylen Jennings (Norwalk, Conn.) had a key block that led to a layup from Coene to put the score at 60-51.
Matt Lorman (Rutland, Vt.) made a jumper with 9:41 left in the second half to start a 7-2 run for the Nor'easters to put the score at 58-62. RWU came right back with a run of their own to put their lead up to nine at 70-61. Hoges cut the deficit to six with a three-pointer leaving 2:22 left in the game putting the score at 70-76. An assist from Marini and a layup from Coene sealed the game that led to a final score of 88-81.
Coene led the Hawks with 35 points and 13 rebounds. Marini scored 20 points and six assists.
Leading the Nor'easters was Gavin Dibble (Greenport, N.Y.) with 19 points and Hoges with 14 points.
Game recap courtesy of Roger Williams Athletic Communications Intern Megan Willgoos.
(Games hosted by the higher seed)
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Feb. 20
#1 Nichols def. #8 Western New England, 100-68 | BOX
#2 Gordon def. #7 Salve Regina, 99-85 | BOX
#3 Endicott def. #6 Wentworth, 83-74 | BOX
#4 Roger Williams def. #5 University of New England, 88-81 | BOX
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 22
#4 Roger Williams at #1 Nichols, 7 p.m.
#3 Endicott at #2 Gordon, 7 p.m.
Finals – Saturday, Feb. 24
Semifinal winners at higher seed, TBA
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.