CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - All five starters scored double-digit points as the Husson University men's basketball team (1-0) opened the season on Saturday afternoon with a 112-96 victory over Pine Manor College on the road.
The Gators led for the first five minutes of the game before the Eagles took their first lead as Justice Kendall hit a jumper to give Husson a 15-14 edge. James Hamans would respond for the Gators with a three-point bucket to regain the lead. Following back-to-back threes by Justin Thompson and Kendall to make it 21-17 Husson, the Eagles held their advantage throughout the rest of the half as they would stretch the difference as high as 13, en route to a 67-57 lead over the Gators at halftime.
Playing nearly every minute on the court in the opening frame, Kendall (18), Thompson (14), and DJ Bussey (10) dominated on the floor to lead the Eagles on the scoreboard hitting double digits in points already. J Thomas came off the bench for eight minutes and added ten points.
Off the bench, Hamans contributed a team-high 15 points at the break while Jalen Williams chipped in ten for the Pine Manor. A force on the defense, Jalen Bruce tallied nine rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
The Gators were able to contain the Eagles' offensive attack within 11 points until midway through the second half when Husson went on a 12-0 run over the span of two minutes to extend the difference to 20. The two teams swapped a few baskets until late in the half when the Gators cut the deficit back under ten points with five minutes left.
Kendall buried a three, followed by a layup from Bruce St. Peter to help the Eagles close out the season opener on a 13-6 run to earn the 112-96 victory.
Thompson led the Eagles in the second half with 12 points while Bussey and St. Peter each added on eight.
Houston tallied an impressive 16 second-half points and seven rebounds for the Gators while the rest of the team helped pitch in 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Thompson hit a team-high 26 points on 9-14 shooting from the floor.
Kendall went 6-6 from the charity stripe to accumulate 23 points and nine assists.
Bussey had 18 points, knocking in 100% (4-4) from the three-point arc.
PINE MANOR LEADERS:
Houston came off the bench and went 8-12 to tie the game-high of 26 points. He completed the double-double with 12 rebounds and an impressive ten points made from the free throw line.
Williams helped out with 19 points.
Both Bruce and Tyrique Lee dished six assists.
The Eagles will travel to Dartmouth, Massachusetts next Friday, November 15th to take part in the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament. The first game of the tournament will take place against the host school, UMass Dartmouth, at 7:00 p.m. followed by another matchup on Saturday.