HENNIKER, N.H.—The Husson University men's basketball team was defeated by New England College by a score of 78-74 in a North Atlantic Conference (NAC) contest between the top two teams in the conference on Friday evening.
Husson falls to 15-5 overall and 11-2 in the league, while the win boosts NEC to 14-6 overall and 10-3 in NAC play.
The Eagles received a game-high 28 points from Raheem Anderson on 12-for-23 shooting, plus a 4-for-5 effort at the free-throw line.
The Pilgrims received 21 points and 10 rebounds from Izaiah Winston-Brooks. Ten of his points were scored at the free-throw line.
Kareem Octavien chipped in with 17 points, while Calvin Cheek and Jason Jones both had nine points apiece.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Pilgrims took control early and took a nine-point lead off of a three-pointer by Trevor Parker just over five minutes into the first half. Husson would cut the lead to five points on two occasions over the next five minutes, but NEC took its first double-digit lead of the day, 25-15, on a three-pointer by Octavien with 9:35 to go in the half. The Pilgrims' largest lead of the half came just over seven minutes later on a free-throw by Cheek for a 36-25 advantage with 2:13 to play. A final run by Husson sent them into the locker room down five, 37-32.
NEC built a nine-point lead in the early minute of the second half but Husson refused to go down without a fight and used a three-pointer by Worcester, three free-throws, and a layup by Anderson to come within one point at 45-44, with 13:34 still to play.
The Eagles took their first lead on their next possession with another jumper by Anderson. They extended it to three-points with a fast-break layup by Anderson, but Octavien drained a three to even things up at 48-48. Husson quickly built a six-point lead at 59-53 with 9:19 to play.
The Pilgrims scored the next six points to tie the score for the final time at 59-59 and regained the lead at 61-59 on a jumper by Octavien at 6:22. NEC would not trail from there, and used the next two minutes to build an eight-point advantage at 70-62. Husson was not ready to throw in the towel though, and managed come back within one points, 75-74, on a layup by Anderson with 37 seconds to go.
The clock was in NEC's favor though, and the Pilgrims went to the line twice over the next 30 seconds to score three more points for the 78-74 final.
The contest was a foul-heavy affair with 51 total fouls. The Pilgrims went to the line for 40 free-throws but only made 21 of them. The Eagles finished 15-for-26 from the charity stripe.
Husson is back in action tomorrow for a 3:00 p.m. tip at Colby-Sawyer College.