WATERVILLE, Maine – The Thomas College men's basketball team held off a fierce comeback by New England College as they earned a 97-93 victory on Saturday afternoon in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) action.
The Terriers move up to 9-10 (6-6 NAC) while the Pilgrims drop their second straight conference game at 13-6 (9-3 NAC).
The Pilgrims came out shooting in the opening seven minutes as they went 4-for-4 from behind the arch including a pair from Izaiah Winston-Brooks. NEC led by as much as 14 points until the Terriers rallied back on a clutch ten points from freshman Tyler Nixon (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to come within two at the break.
In the second half, the Terriers knocked down eight threes, including three each from freshman Angel Gonzalez (Orlando, Fla.) and sophomore Matt Allen (Barre, Vermont). John Morgan (Sanford, Maine) chipped in with 19 points in the half on 8-of-9 shooting to give the Terriers an 89-74 lead with 3:21 remaining. In the final minutes, six points from Calvin Cheek and Trevor Parker allowed the Pilgrims to climb back with three at 95-92. The Terriers converted on two late free throws from freshman Justin Butler (Orlando, Fla.) to seal the victory.
Morgan ended the game with 24 points and five rebounds while Angel Gonzalez netted 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Three Terriers finished with double-doubles with 12 points and 12 rebounds from Nixon, ten points and 11 assists from Butler, and ten points and ten rebounds from Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine).
Cheek led five Pilgrims with double figures on 24 points, seven rebounds, and seven steals. Ricky Leonard contributed with 16 points while Winston-Brooks and Parker each scored 15 in the effort.
The Terriers will hit the road on Friday, February 2 as they travel to Johnson for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.