WORCESTER, Mass. – Reginald Finney (Ansonia, Conn.) scored a season-best 23 points as visiting Becker College held off a late Clark University rally to take a very entertaining, 76-65 decision on Thursday evening in non-league men's basketball action at the Kneller Athletic Center.
The win for the Hawks is their first of the season after dropping their first five games and have now won six of the last seven against the Scarlet and White. Meanwhile the Cougars see their losing streak extend to six games following a season-opening victory.
The game was close in the opening moments of the second half, with Clark getting as close as three (28-25) after David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) found Corey Gomes (Uxbridge, Mass.) for an easy hoop. Becker pushed ahead, bumping their lead to 38-27 a few minutes later when Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) fed Finney, who finished strong inside.
With the score 40-32 in favor of the Hawks, Nafis Streeter (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored back-to-back baskets to kick start a 10-2 run that gave the visitors their biggest lead of the night, 50-34.
Clark scored 14 of the game's next 21 points as Tyler Huffman (West Hartford, Conn.) drained a three-pointer and made a layup, Gomes scored inside and the Cougars connected on seven straight free throws.
The Hawks answered with a run of their own and when Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) made four straight free throws, the Hawk advantage was back to 14 at 67-53 with less than three minutes to play.
Undeterred, the Scarlet and White made one final push getting within four as Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.), Huffman and Lucas LaLima (Colts Neck, N.J.) all connected on three pointers.
It was not to be for the Cougars, however, as Becker went 6-for-7 from the charity stripe in the final 47 seconds to seal the win.
Finney shined the brightest of all, doing most of his damage off of excellent feeds that lead to easy hoops. He was 10-for-12 from the field and added three rebounds, two assists and two blocks in his 29 minutes of action.
Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) ended with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Streeter (14 points, four rebounds, and three assists) and Credle (11 points, five rebounds, and five assists) both reached double figures.
Huffman looked like his old self again for the Cougars, totaling a team-best 18 points, while LaLima chipped in with a season-best 13 points and Mercier added ten points and five boards.