LEICESTER, Mass.- The Becker College men's basketball team defeated Mitchell College 88-78 in New England Collegiate Conference playoff action Tuesday evening at the Leicester Gymnasium. The Hawks improved their record to 16-10 while the Mariners season comes to end at 9-15.
Becker will advance to the NECC semifinals against Elms College on Friday, February 26th a 8:00 p.m. The game will be played at top seeded Southern Vermont College.
The two teams exchanged the lead four times in the first half, with neither growing a margin larger than four for the first 12 minutes of the game. Becker earned the first five point lead of the game when Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) stole the ball from Frank Martin (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), feeding Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y) for a fast break layup.
Mitchell would respond with a 7-0 run, capped off with a Frank Martin three pointer to give the Mariners a 34-32 lead with 3:06 remaining in the first half. After a pair of free-throws by Reginald Finney (Ansonia, Conn.) tied the game, Frank Martin nailed another three to put the Mariners up 37-34. Reginald Finney would bring the Hawks within one with a layup, but on Mitchell's next possession Frank Martin was fouled on a three point attempt. Martin hit all three free-throws to put Mitchell up 40-36. Becker would get a pair of free-throws from Reginald Finney and layup from Kareem Davis to send the teams into their locker rooms tied at 40-40.
Becker jumped out to an early lead in the second half, only to watch Donavan McClean (Jersey City, N.J.) score eight consecutive points to give Mitchell 51-49 advantage. With the game tied at 56-56 Mitchell went on a 6-0 run to take their largest lead of the game with 11:37 left on the clock.
Reigning NECC Player of the Week Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) scored consecutive baskets to pull the Hawks within two. After freshman Domenico Santiago (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) put back a rebound to give the Mariners a four point lead, Rashaun Liggon (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Samuel Durodola hit back-to-back shots for Becker to tie the game at 64-64.
After Parris Hill (Stockton, Calif.) and Kyle Credle exchanged threes, Mitchell went on a 6-0 run with three straight layups. After a Becker timeout, Kareem Davis brought the Leicester Gymnasium to its feet with back-to-back threes, tying the game for the tenth time.
Becker took a 77-75 advantage with 2:41 remaining when Kyle Credle fed Samuel Durodola for a fast break dunk. After Parris Hill tied the game with a pair of free-throws, Becker went on an 11-1 run to close out the game, including an eight for eight showing from the charity stripe.
Samuel Durodola earned his 12th double-double of the season after finishing with a game-high 30 points and 11 boards. Kareem Davis scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half while dishing out seven assists. Reginald Finney added 16 points, with Kyle Credle rounding out the starters in double figures with 13 points. Senior Rashaun Liggon pulled down ten boards in his final home game in royal and white.
The Mariners matched the Hawks with four starters in double figures. Donavan McClean finished his collegiate career with a team best 22 points; in addition to nine rebounds. Classmate Parris Hill completed his tremendous career with 14 points. Alan Morgan (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and Frank Martin tallied 16 points each while Domenico Santiago gathered a team-best ten rebounds.