BEVERLY, Mass. — The Endicott men's basketball team's historic season came to a close in the College's first-ever Sweet 16 appearance, but the Gulls finished the 2016-17 campaign with the highest national ranking in program history in the final D3hoops.com poll of the year as announced this week.
Endicott (24-7), a first-time at-large selection, became the first Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) team in 21 years to reach the Third Round of the NCAA DIII Men's Basketball Championship since Anna Maria did so during the 1995-96 season.
The Gulls bowed out in the national sectionals with an 89-60 loss to No. 6 Middlebury on March 10th, but not without several statement wins to highlight the season.
Endicott knocked off No. 16 Salisbury in the opening round game on March 3rd, 71-68, as senior guard Kamahl Walker (Worcester, Mass.) sounded off for a game-high/season-high 32 points and the Gulls played tough defense when it mattered the most.
The Gulls then bounced fellow Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foe Nichols, 111-75, in the Second Round as senior guard Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) caught fire for a career-high 34 points in the teams' fourth meeting this season.
With the Second Round victory, Endicott set a new program record for most wins in a single season (24), and the Gulls' senior class (2013-2017) became the winningest class to ever come through the Endicott men's basketball program, surpassing the group from 2002-2006 (83-31) with an overall record of 84-34. Endicott is now 3-3 in the NCAA Tournament under the direction of CCC Coach of the Year, Kevin Bettencourt, in his third year at the helm.
The Gulls, who reached the NCAA tournament for the third year in a row and eighth time in school history, saw Walker (All-CCC First Team) receive two All-Region nods as D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region Third Team and NABC DIII All-Northeast Second Team selections. Additionally, Motroni, the CCC's Senior Scholar-Athlete, and senior forward Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.) were named to the All-CCC teams as second and third team picks, respectively.