BEVERLY, Mass. — The No. 2 seed Endicott men's basketball team used a second half run to advance to its third straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship on Saturday with an 84-66 win over No. 6 seed Eastern Nazarene Thursday night in the CCC Semifinals inside MacDonald Gymnasium.
Back-and-forth action in the opening minutes gave way to Endicott building a 43-34 edge at halftime.
Just as they have done for the majority of this season, the Gulls stepped on the gas in the second stanza to put away Eastern Nazarene. A 15-4 run from the 18:50 mark to 13:25 on the clock was infused by five treys, including four-straight from senior forward Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.) to all but seal the deal.
Sampson's game-high 24 points and game-best seven boards (tied) sent the Gulls into a frenzy as they've earned the right to compete for the chance to three-peat for the second time in program history (2004-06) and fourth time in the history of the CCC (Anna Maria '90-'92; Colby Sawyer '00-'03'; Endicott '04-'06)
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott won the battle of the boards by a 41-28 margin.
- Senior guard Kamahl Walker (Worcester, Mass.) and senior guard Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) chipped in 16 and 15 points apiece, respectively.
- The Gulls matched their longest win streak of the season with their fifth straight victory tonight.
- The Gulls are 12-1 overall and 11-0 against conference opponents on the home hardwood this season.
- The Gulls came into the game earning 31 votes in the D3hoops.com Week 12 Top 25 National Poll.
FOR THE FOES
- Senior guard Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) led the Lions with 17 points, while freshman guard Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.), and senior forward Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) also were in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
- Rice knocked down five three-pointers to match Sampson for a game-high.
- Rice and Doran grabbed seven rebounds apiece to match Sampson for a game-high.
- Senior guard Anthony Petrilli (Santa Clarita, Calif.) dished out a game-high six assists.
- The Lions led by as much as four with 17:20 on the clock in the first half.
- Endicott is 21-10 all-time and 14-5 at home against Eastern Nazarene dating back to the 1994 season.
- The Gulls have won seven of the past 10 meetings, including a sweep during the regular season (72-68 road victory on 12/03/16 and 80-67 at home on 01/21/17).
No. 2 Endicott (22-5) moves on to the CCC Championship on Saturday, February 25th at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., while No. 6 Eastern Nazarene (13-14) sees its season come to a close.