Courtesy of New England College Sports Information
HENNIKER, N.H.—The Thomas College men's basketball team came up short in a late rally as they fell, 72-67, to New England College in a North Atlantic Conference (NAC) contest on Saturday.
The win boosts the Pilgrims to 11-6 overall and drops the Terriers to 8-9. Both teams have an identical 6-4 record in NAC play.
The Terriers received a game-high 32 points from Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y. / Lawrence). He shot 12-for-19 from the floor and scored a bulk of his points in the second half, as he had 13 points at halftime. Jordan Derosby (Waterville, Maine / Waterville) added 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds for the Terriers.
The Pilgrims received 20 points from Ricky Leonard on 8-for-13 shooting with three three-pointers. Izaiah Winston-Brooks chipped in with 17 points and shot 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, while Brenndan Rogers scored 12 points, all of which fell in the first half.
The first half saw five lead changes and two tied scores over the 20 minutes of play. The Pilgrims hit an impressive six three-pointers in the first frame. NEC led by three points, 28-25, with 3:52 remaining in the half. They held Thomas scoreless for the remainder of the half while scoring seven points of their own to lead by 10 points, 35-25, at half.
The Pilgrims maintained control of the score for the entire second until Thomas tied the score at 63-63 on a three-pointer by Simon with 3:50 remaining in the game. Leonard scored on NEC's next three possessions and the Pilgrims held Thomas scoreless to open up a seven-point margin.
Fouling for possession was working for the Terriers as the Pilgrims missed the first end of two separate one-and-one's with under a minute remaining. Trailing by three, 70-67, the Terriers sent Winston-Brooks to the line with 11 seconds left. He drained both and Thomas missed a three-pointer on their final trip down the floor to seal the five-point NEC victory.
NEC shot over 50 percent in the second half (14-27 – 51.9 percent) to fight off the Terriers. On the day, they shot at 44.8 percent. Thomas shot at 40.3 percent (25-62), including a 45.2 percent effort in the second half.
In their next game, the Terriers will host conference opponent Johnson State on Friday, January 27 in a 5:30 p.m. contest at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium.