BEVERLY, Mass. - The fourth-seeded Endicott men's basketball team successfully defended its Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title, 75-62, Saturday afternoon in the CCC Championship game vs. sixth-seeded Roger Williams University inside a crowded MacDonald Gymnasium.
The Hawks scored first for their only lead of the game at 19:09, but junior forward Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.) nailed a trey at 18:13 to give Endicott the lead that they would hold throughout until the final buzzer sounded.
The Gulls headed into the locker room at halftime up, 40-30, as junior guard Kamahl Walker (Worcester, Mass.) scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.
Endicott continued to pour it on in the second half, as an eight-point deficit was as close as Roger Williams would get the rest of the way, down just 49-41 with 14:55 remaining in the game.
Endicott led by as much as 21 points with 5:34 remaining in the game as junior guard Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) hit one from downtown to give the Gulls a 69-48 edge.
With the win, the Gulls hoisted their third trophy in the past five seasons and won back-to-back championships for the third time in program history.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is 8-1 in title games and will compete in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history.
- The Gulls have won back-to-back titles for the third time in program history (1999-2000);(2004-2005-2006); and (2015-2016).
- Today's game was the seventh meeting between the Endicott and Roger Williams in postseason program history and the second time in the conference championship. The Gulls are 7-0 against the Hawks in the CCC Tournament all-time, including a 6-0 record on the home hardwood.
- Walker paced the team with a game-high 18 points and a game-high four steals.
- Motroni has scored in double figures in all 27 games he has appeared in this season, with eight games scoring 20+ points, and currently has 988 career points thanks to his 13 points today. He would become the team's 14th men's basketball player to reach the 1,000 point milestone and fifth to do so as a junior.
- Sampson had 14 points and five boards.
- Junior guard Chris Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.) chipped in 10 points and junior guard Stephen Basden (Lynn, Mass.) each pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- The sixth-seeded Hawks earned their first berth to the CCC title game since 2008 entering today's game.
- The Hawks are 0-3 in conference championship games in recent history with losses to Curry, 83-66, in 2008, to Endicott, 71-59, in 2005, and today.
- All-CCC Third Team sophomore guard Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) led the Hawks with a team-high 15 points.
- Freshman guard Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) joined Marini in double figures with 12 points.
- Senior captain/center Trevor Fahmy (New Bedford, N.H.) grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
- The Gulls and Hawks met twice in the regular season, Endicott swept the season series with Roger Williams with victories on Jan. 7, 2016, 64-61, and 64-51 on Feb. 6, 2016 in Bristol, R.I. Endicott is 26-7 all-time and 17-4 at home against the Hawks dating back to the 1994 season.
- Second-year head coach Kevin Bettencourt has led the Gulls to a 41-16 overall record in his tenure as part of a back-to-back championship run.
Endicott (18-10) receives the conference's automatic qualifying bid into the 2016 NCAA Tournament with the entire field of pairings announced on Monday, Feb. 29 during the NCAA Selection Show at 12:30 p.m., EST. Roger Williams (12-16) sees its season come to an end.
2016 CCC MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinals • Tuesday, February 23
#1 Nichols 107, #8 Western New England 67
#7 University of New England 61, #2 Wentworth 58
#6 Roger Williams 68, #3 Eastern Nazarene 67
#4 Endicott 86, #5 Gordon 76
Semifinals • Thursday, February 25
#4 Endicott 82, #1 Nichols 80
#6 Roger Williams 75, #7 University of New England 58
Championship Game • Saturday, February 27
#4 Endicott 75 vs. #6 Roger Williams 62