BANGOR, Maine - After splitting, 1-1, in conference action earlier this season with nearly identical opposing scores, the Eagles (12-14) and Badgers (7-19) battled point-for-point on Saturday afternoon in Newman Gym. In the final five minutes of the game, the Husson men's basketball team pushed ahead to secure the 70-61 North Atlantic Conference Quarterfinal win. With the victory, Husson head men's basketball coach Warren Caruso achieved his 500th career victory.
IN THE ACTION:
Tying the game nine times in just the first half, NVU-Johnson broke ahead with the largest lead of the game after two consecutive jumpers from Kiyl Mack and Floyd Davis to jump ahead by five (16-11) midway through the opening frame.
Three consecutive visits to the charity stripe for Husson's Justin Thompson and Scott Lewis brought the game back to a 16-16 stalemate. The Eagles continued to drive the hoop, cruising on a 7-0 run with four minutes left in the half to grab their own five-point edge (27-22). The lead was short-lived as a three from Badgers' Javon Daniels helped push NVU-Johnson to a 29-27 advantage. The Badgers held onto their two-point lead into the break, up 33-31.
Without missing a beat, Husson evened the score for the tenth time less than a minute into the second half after Bruce St. Peter drained a pair of free throws. A 9-3 run for NVU-Johnson over the next five minutes helped the Badgers gain the largest lead of the game (42-36) with 15:08 on the clock. Four points from Justin Thompson helped return the score back to a tie game (42-42) within 90 seconds of play.
Over the next ten minutes, Hussson began to gradually pull out ahead, outscoring NVU-Johnson 17-6 for a more comfortable 11-point edge with 4:45 remaining in regulation. The Badgers cut the deficit down to six following a bucket from Mack, but the Eagles stood strong on defense and held onto their lead through the final minutes of the evening to capture the 70-61 NAC Quarterfinal victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Robert Dubose paced the Badgers with his game-high of 19 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the charity stripe.
For the Badgers, Kiyl Mack pitched in 12 points, five rebounds, and three steals.
Husson shot an impressive 85.7% (24-28) from the charity stripe to NVU-Johnson's 58.3% (7-12).
The Badgers concluded their season with an overall record of 7-19 while the Husson Eagles will continue on to NAC Semifinals on Friday, February 28th. Husson men's basketball will travel to the University of Maine-Farmington to take on SUNY Canton at 7:30 p.m.