Mass. College Hoops: Nichols Fends Off Roger Williams Second Half Run
Courtesy of the Roger Williams sports information department, along with the Nichols Sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s basketball team, who defeated the Hawks and improved to 9-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and 13-4 overall:
BRISTOL, R.I. – Nichols College handed the Roger Williams Men’s Basketball team their seventh conference loss in a close matchup on Wednesday with a 72-67 win.
The beginning of the first half of this conference battle remained close as Roger Williams and Nichols traded baskets. Nichols was the first to strike on a made jumper by senior guard Sam Horning (Falmouth, Maine), but an offensive put-back by freshman forward Josh Syska (Peabody, Mass.) on the next Hawk possession quickly put the Hawks on the board as well.
The Hawks were able to keep up with the fast-paced Bison as an and-one play and made free throw by junior guard Ryan Palumbo (Warwick, R.I.) tied the game at four after a previous made floater by Nichols guard Christian Horton (Rutland, Mass.).
A layup by freshman forward Chris Bardwell (North Andover, Mass.) and a three pointer on the next possession gave Roger Williams a 12-7 lead before the team got into foul trouble and Nichols took advantage.
The Bison kept connecting from beyond the arc as a pair of three pointers by junior guard Marlon Bennett (Stratford, Conn.) and sophomore guard Irving Eggleston (East Lyme, Conn.) would put the team up 15-14. Three-point plays by junior guard Matt Langadas (Sebago, Maine) and Eggelston would put the Bison up give the Bison a 21-17 lead. Roger Williams would only come as close as eight for the rest of the half as a strong offense for the Bison gave them a 40-26 lead going into the locker room.
The Hawks couldn’t seem to catch up throughout the first 14 minutes of the second half as it seemed every time they scored, the Bison would have an answer. Bardwell opened the half on a layup, which was quickly followed by a Bison score as Joe Gallant (Salem, N.H.) connected on a layup of his own.
As the Hawks struggled to connect on the offensive end it looked like the Bison would pull away, developing a lead as large as 15, but the Hawks began to heat up from beyond the arc with a Josh McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.) three-pointer late in the half.
At the 6:46 mark Will Gerencer (Bowdoin, Maine) followed his teammate’s lead and connected on another three-pointer to cut the lead to 11. However, the Hawks continued to struggle with foul trouble and Nichols was able to make key foul shots that kept them ahead by ten.
Roger Williams continued to be sharp from field as Joseph Henry (Medway, Mass.) hit a three and then a layup at with 4:13 to go to make it an eight-point game.
The Hawks were able to cut the lead to five on another made three by Henry and sharp shooting by Zac Campbell (Woodbridge, Conn.) putting the Bison up only 69-64.
Ryan Sheehan (North Attleboro, Mass.) took over for the Bison at this point and helped seal the win with key foul shots down the stretch that put Nichols up for a final score of 72-67.
Sheehan led the Bison with a game-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds. Langadas finshed with 15 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Gallant contributed eight points and eight boards.
Bardwell finished just shy of a double-double, going for 14 points and nine rebounds. Palumbo had 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists, while Henry chipped in with 11 points off the pine.
Nichols (13-4, 9-1 CCC) ties a school record with its eighth straight victory and look to set the new mark on their home court this Saturday February 1st as they take on Salve Regina at 2:00 p.m. Roger Williams (5-13, 4-7 CCC) travels to Western New England for a 3:00 .p.m. game the same day.