BRONX, NY – The Thomas College men's basketball team fell 78-74 to Stevens Tech in the second day of the Lehman Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Friday.
Dropping their third straight, the Terriers complete their non-conference schedule and fall to .500 at 5-5 (3-0 NAC) while the Ducks move to 5-2 (4-0 Empire 8) overall.
To open the game, both teams struggled to take care of the ball as they each turned it over three times. Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine / Lewiston) opened the scoring after two minutes of play. Jordan Derosby (Waterville, Maine / Waterville) netted two quick buckets as the Terriers opened up to an 8-5 lead.
The Ducks responded with a big 12-0 run of their own led by Evan Klimchak. Gonzalez looked to get Thomas back within three on two buckets down low to bring the score to 20-17. The Terriers came within one at 4:30 on a basket from Andrew Middleton (Turner, Maine / Bridgton Academy). Chris Cosgrove answered with a three to increase the Ducks advantage.
Free throws from Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y. / Lawrence) tied the game up at the 3:41 mark of the first half. Stevens finished the half on an 8-4 run to enter the break with a 35-31 lead. The Terriers finished the first half with 17 turnovers.
The Terriers opened the second half with a quick 8-0 run. Stevens' Ryan Coffey netted their first basket of the half after a scoreless three minutes. The Terriers increased their lead to seven at 13:30 on another layup by Gonzalez.
With Gonzalez on the bench in foul trouble, the Terriers leaned on Simon to pace the Terriers and maintain the lead on ten points in the first nine minutes. The Ducks tied the game up at 52-52 at the ten-minute mark on a free throw from Thomas Cook.
Both teams traded the lead midway through the second half as Ian King (Westbrook, Maine / Westbrook) was fouled on a layup to regain the lead at 7:20. King made the ensuing free throw for a 60-58 advantage.
Cook finished two-straight three point plays for the Ducks for a 67-60 lead with five minutes remaining in the game.
Tailour Hall (Jacksonville, Fla. / Edward White) brought the Terriers within one with 30 seconds remaining on two free throws. After a quick foul, the Ducks missed a free throw to give the Terriers the ball down by two. Thomas could not convert and the Ducks added free throws to finish the scoring at 78-74.
Simon led the Terriers offense once again on a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting while Gonzalez finished with 15 points and ten boards for a double-double. Thomas turned the ball over 26 times.
Spencer Cook paced the Ducks with his 17 points while Patrick Barron finished with 15 points and five rebounds.
The Terriers will return to North Atlantic Conference play as they host the University of Maine at Farmington on Tuesday, January 3, in a 5:30 p.m. contest at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.