QUINCY, Mass. – Eastern Nazarene outscored Becker 10-6 in overtime with the help of 7-of-8 shooting from the foul line, as the No. 3 seeded ENC Lions defeated the No. 6 seeded Becker Hawks, 74-70 on Tuesday night in the Quarterfinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Postseason.
February 25, 2020
Lahue PE Center
Score: Eastern Nazarene 74 – Becker 70 (F/OT)
Records: The Becker College Hawks 11-15 | The Eastern Nazarene College Lions 14-12
The Hawks shot 3-for-7 from the field in overtime but could not overcome the 7-of-8 shooting from the line by the Lions. ENC only shot 1-for-5 from the floor in overtime.
A pair of made free throws by Lions senior Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) with 21.3 seconds left gave the Lions an all-important four-point lead, 72-68.
Hawks sophomore Mekhi Chester (East Orange, N.J.) got Becker back within two with a floater in the lane with 8.1 on the clock.
But the final blow came from Lions senior Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) making a pair of foul shots with 6.2 remaining to re-establish the four-point lead. The Hawks final shot missed the mark, sending the Lions through to the NECC Semifinals with a 74-70 win.
The Hawks trailed by as many as 10 points midway through the second half but the ENC lead was erased by the time 2:03 remained as a Becker 18-8 run late in the half set up a thrilling finish to regulation.
All-Conference First-Team senior from ENC, Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) scored the first points under two minutes, making a three-pointer with 90 seconds remaining to give the Lions a 63-60 lead.
After a missed shot by Becker and a turnover by ENC, Chester knocked down a three-pointer with 41.4 seconds remaining to tie the game 63-63.
Foul shooting set the stage for the dramatic finish with Hawks junior Jamir Carr (Philadelphia, Pa.) stepping to the line with 13.7 remaining. After missing his first attempt, he covered on the second to give the Hawks a 64-63 edge.
On ENC's possession, Lions senior Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) was fouled on a jumper from the elbow with 0.5 seconds, giving the Lions a chance to win the game.
Waldroop stepped to the line and hit the front rim with his first foul shot and needed to make his second to send the game to overtime. His second free throw again hit the front rim, but this time tumbled forward, off the backboard and in, tying the game at 64-64, sending it to overtime.
FOR THE HAWKS
- Carr led the Hawks with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds.
- NECC Rookie of the Year, freshman Terrance Edwards (New Haven, Conn.) finished with 13 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
- Junior Mateus Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was just shy of a triple-double, finishing with nine points, and game-highs of 14 rebounds and 12 assists.
FOR THE LIONS
- Senior Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) led all scorers, finishing with 19 points.
- Senior Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) added 15 points on a blazing 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
- Shearman and Waldroop each finished with 12 points.
The Lions advance to the NECC Semifinals where they will face the No. 2 seeded and defending NECC Champions, Mitchell Mariners, on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. For the Hawks, their season comes to a close at 11-15.