WATERVILLE, ME – The Thomas College men's basketball team rallied to an 80-75 victory in their season opener against Nichols College in Larry Mahaney Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Terriers improve to 1-0 in the early season while the Bison fall to 0-1.
Thomas jumped out to an early advantage in the first half with the Bison responding at the 12:17 mark when Daequon Antoine made a three-pointer to tie the game 16-16. With the Terriers clinging to a 24-16 lead with 8:41 remaining in the first, Nichols answered with a three-pointer by Tyler Dion, free throws by Marcos Echevarria, and two layups by DeAnte Bruton.
With 3:35 left in the half, Dion knocked down a three to tie the game at 30-30. The Bison outscored the Terriers 13-3 in the last three minutes, giving them a 43-33 lead going into the break.
Thomas opened the second half with three buckets after a defensive block and rebound by Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y./ Lawrence), trailing by six in the first two minutes of the second half. The Terriers rallied back to tie the game 43-43 with 16:49 remaining.
The Bison looked to pull away late in the second half with a 65-60 lead. Thomas answered with a layup and free throw by sophomore guard Jonathan Phelps (Southwest Harbor, Maine / MDI) to bring the contest within two. Jordan Derosby (Waterville, Maine / Waterville) tied the game 65-65 with a layup while Phelps added two more points to go ahead 67-65. Thomas continued to pull away late in the second half, finishing the scoring at 80-75. Thomas outscored Nichols 15-10 in the final five minutes.
Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine / Lewiston) led the Terriers with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Simon and Grant each added 14 points while Derosby collected 13.
Bruton led the Bison in scoring with 18 points and four assists. Echevarria added 17 and five steals while Dion chipped in with 13.
The Terriers will face the University of New England at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18 in the Charlie Ryan Classic at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.