BANGOR, Maine -After jumping out to an early 11-0 advantage, the Husson men's basketball team (10-6, 6-1 NAC) powered through to the end to split the weekend with the SUNY Canton Kangaroos (10-9, 6-2 NAC). In head coach Warren Caruso's 700th career game at Husson University, the Eagles grabbed a 67-51 North Atlantic Conference victory on their home court.
Cole Thomas got Husson on the board first with a nice outlet pass from Justice Kendall to finish the fast break layup and trigger an 11-0 run to open up action at Newman Gym. Husson's defense set the tone as they held the Roos scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game.
SUNY Canton's Andrew Fitch put the Roos on the board off a layup with 12:43 left in the first half, sparking a resounding 19-0 run of their own over the next seven minutes with help from Danny Santana and Ibu Smith hitting back-to-back threes. The Eagles broke up the monotony putting their foot down and standing their ground starting with a huge block by Justin Thompson. Corey Kaiser swooped in for the defensive rebound and broke down the court dropping in a bucket which kicked off yet another couple of unanswered baskets for Husson to barely creep ahead 21-19 with 4:06 on the clock.
Both teams continued to battle as Husson held the slight 28-27 advantage going into the locker room.
The Roos jumped into action with a quick drive by Jordan Stewart and a couple made free throws to remain in stride with Husson. Shortly after, Eagles' Kendall and DJ Bussey nailed a pair of threes as the two teams were stuck at a 34-34 stalemate for nearly two minutes before Bussey tossed down another 3-pointer for a 37-34 advantage with 13:53 left in the game. The Eagles pulled off a sneaky play as Kendall found Thompson with a behind the back pass under the basket to continue the scoring.
The Eagles looked to push away as Justin Martin tipped in a shot to give Husson the 45-38 lead with 10:28 left in the second half. The Husson defense came alive late in the half as Thompson and Martin came up big with blocks to keep the Roos at bay without allowing the score to get any closer than eight points throughout the remaining minutes as the Eagles picked up a 67-51 victory.
Martin notched a double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds, a game-high for him since his sophomore year and a career-high 15 defensive rebounds in a single game for the senior.
Kendall finished the game with 6 assists while scoring 14 points of his own.
Off the bench, Thompson added on six points and five boards.
SUNY CANTON LEADERS:
Stewart led his team as the only Roo to break double digits on the scoreboard with ten points.
Fitch grabbed 13 rebounds including 12 defensive.
Joseph Werner swiped three steals, seven boards, and five points.
The Eagles hit the road for a game on Tuesday, January 22nd at Colby College with a 7 p.m. tipoff.