BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's basketball team fell to Nichols College, 76-69, in conference action on Tuesday night inside MacDonald Gymnasium.
Trailing 32-30 at halftime, the Bison orchestrated a 15-4 run over the first 4:03 of play in the second half and held off the Gulls the rest of the way to improve to 17-2 overall and 9-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).
Endicott made several comeback attempts in the second half, but its most notable one came with under two minutes remaining in the matchup. After taking a timeout with 2:19 to go (70-59), the Gulls capitalized on a four-point play from Vinny Clifford (Danvers, Mass.) at the 1:52 mark and a pair of made free throws via Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) with 1:08 to go to cut it to 70-65.
Endicott followed up Clifford and Brown's makes with a defensive stop on the other end, however; a missed three-pointer with 37-seconds left spelled the difference for the Gulls as Nichols went 6-for-6 at the line to ice the game.
Clifford led the way for Endicott with 16 points (6-9 FG, 3-5 3PT, 1-1 FT) and nine rebounds, while Brown added 12 points and eight rebounds in the loss. The Gulls also received 14 points from Matt McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) and 11 from Jordan Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) to round out the individual highlights.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Despite the loss, Endicott still holds an 18-16 advantage in the all-time series versus Nichols.
- The Gulls held Nichols to a season-low 29.7 field goal percentage in the first half.
- Prior to tonight's game, the Bison had only shot lower than 40% in the first half in one game all season.
- Nichols is receiving the highest amount of votes (47) of any team not ranked in the D3hoops.com Top-25 Poll, at the moment.
Endicott (12-6, 5-4 CCC) travels to Curry on Saturday, January 26 at 3 PM. Nichols (17-2, 9-1 CCC) visits Salve Regina this Saturday at 3 PM.
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)