DUDLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.) scored 35 points to help the Nichols College men's basketball team erase a 12-point second-half deficit and earn an 80-67 win over Wentworth Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at the Nichols Athletic Center.
With the win the Bison improve to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in CCC play while the Leopards dip to 2-3 (1-1).
Sophomore DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.) scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half as the Nichols knocked down 57 percent of its shots over the final 20 minutes (17-of-30) and made 81 percent of their free throws (21-of-26). Senior Nate Tardy (Moodus, Conn.) came off the bench and contributed seven points, nine rebounds and three steals.
The Leopards were led by junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge Mass.) with 16 points, followed by classmate Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) with 15 points (3-of-5 from behind the arc) and freshman Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) with 12 points.
Wentworth scored the first seven points of the game before a 19-6 run by the Bison gave them a six-point lead at the midway point of the half. Echevarria scored the team's first 12 points to spark the run. The Bison took a 30-27 lead into the half, led by 17 from Echevarria and seven from Bruton. Ganley paced the Leopards with seven. The teams combined for 28 first-half turnovers.
The Leopards opened the half on a 22-7 run and opened up a 12-point lead at 12:47 behind 10 from Knollmeyer and six from Azmus. Nichols responded with a 24-11 run to open up a 61-60 lead following a layup from Bruton. Wentworth then committed five turnovers in less than three minutes, allowing the Bison to extend their lead to 12 at the 2:23 mark behind eight points from Echevarria.
Echevarria – who sank 11 of his 12 free throw attempts – also recorded three boards, three assists and three steals.
The Leopards held a 44-36 edge on the glass – including a 20-11 advantage on the offensive boards – however committed 25 turnovers which led to 23 Nichols points.
Wentworth is at Eastern Nazarene on Tuesday night.