WATERVILLE, Maine --- Thomas College shot 55.8 percent from the field and drained 15 three-pointers en route to a 102-84 win over New England College in North Atlantic Conference men's basketball play Saturday afternoon at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.
Thomas (9-8, 5-5 NAC) led virtually from start to finish with New England College (5-12, 2-8 NAC) grabbing its only lead of the game at the 17:05 mark of the first half when a layup by Ricky Leonard put the Pilgrims up 6-5. The Terriers responded immediately with three-pointers by Dayne Savage (Caribou, Maine / Caribou) and Mike Akanji (Lincoln, R.I. / Lincoln).
After layups by Frantzy Georges and Shannon Murray tied the game at 20-20 at the 12:33 mark of first half, Thomas went on a 16-6 run to lead 36-26 with 5:54 to play.
A Dezron Wilson jumper and five straight points by Leonard drew the Pilgrims within three points at 36-33 with 4:39 to play, but the Terriers caught fire from three-point range. Thomas made five threes in a span of seven possessions over the next 3:30 to push the lead to 53-38.
Wilson hit a three of his own to cut the Thomas lead to 53-41 headed to halftime.
The Terriers continued to build the lead in the second half, eventually extending it to 24 at 78-54 with 11:45 to play on a back-to-back three-pointers by Levi Barnes (Skowhegan, Maine / Skowhegan).
A 20-9 run by the Pilgrims over the next 6:16 cut the lead to 13, but NEC would get no closer.
Wilson finished with a game-high 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting. He also connected on 10 of 12 free throw attempts, pulled down five rebounds and had four assists and three steals. Leonard added 22 points.
Five Terriers finished in double figures led by Barnes with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also had two blocks and two assists. Mike Akanji added 18 points on six three-pointers and had five assists. Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine / Lewiston) also filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Dayne Savage added 11 points and had four assists.
Thomas received plenty of support from its bench, which outscored NEC, 30-2. Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y. / Lawrence) scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds, while Willie Grant (Philadelphia, Pa. / Paul Robeson) added eight points and seven rebounds. Adam Carlsen (Rockport, Maine / Camden Hills) posted five points and while he didn't score, Ian King (Westbrook, Maine / Hebron Academy) did dish out four assists, make three steals and haul in three rebounds.
The Terriers won the rebounding battle, 41-32, and had 25 assists to the Pilgrims' 11.
It was the third straight win for Thomas, which topped the century mark for the first time since beating Castleton, 102-93, on February 13, 2015.
After playing six straight games at home, the Terriers take to the road January 29-30 when they travel to the Green Mountain State to face Johnson State (Friday, 7:30 p.m.) and Lyndon State (Saturday, 3 p.m.). New England College hosts Husson and Maine Maritime next weekend.