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Men's Basketball Edged in Regular-Season Finale

Men's Basketball Edged in Regular-Season Finale

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Sam Horning's (Falmouth, Maine) conversion of a second-chance opportunity with 3.8 seconds lifted the Nichols College men's basketball team to a 62-61 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in the regular-season finale for both squads.

Horning's heroics came after Leopard senior Scott Moran (Orange, Conn.) was fouled on a 3-point attempt and buried all three shots to give the hosts a 61-60 lead with 10.1 seconds left.

The win improves the Bison's record to 20-5 overall and will be the top seed in the upcoming Commonwealth Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament after sporting a 16-2 record in league play. Wentworth closes out the regular season with an 11-14 record and will be the number seven seed in the CCC Tournament after finishing with an 8-10 record.

After junior Joe Gallant (Salem, N.H.) converted a layup 1:38 into the contest, Wentworth went on a 10-1 run to take a 12-5 lead after a senior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) steal and layup. Nichols used a 7-1 run and cut the deficit to one on a jumper by sophomore Gustave Koumare (Harlem, N.Y.) jumper with 11:47 left. A 3-pointer from freshman Jherson Colon (Boston, Mass.) upped the lead to four before the Bison scored six of the next eight points to tie the game at 18-all on a senior Ryan Sheehan (North Attleboro, Mass.) layup with 8:59 left in the half.

The Leopards scored the next six points as Mayo drained a three and sophomore Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) converted a three-point play with 5:00 left, but the Bison would hold the hosts off the board for the remainder of the half and took a 25-24 lead on a 3-pointer from Koumare as time expired.

Horning gave Nichols a three-point lead to open the second half before a 14-4 run – capped off by a 3-pointer from Moran – gave Wentworth a 38-31 lead. The Leopards extended their lead to 10 with 11:23 left on another shot from behind the arc from Moran before the Bison used a 10-2 run and closed the gap to two on a basket by Koumare with 8:42 left.

Wentworth would lead by as many as six with 3:54 left as Moran buried his fourth trifecta of the game to give the Black & Gold a 54-48 lead. Horning converted a three-point play to cut the lead in half before Colon hit a layup to make it a 56-51 game with 2:42 left.

Kourame drained a 3-pointer, and, after junior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit two free throws to give Wentworth a 58-54 lead with 1:54 left, Kourmare hit four consecutive free throws to knot the score at 58-all with 1:12 left and hit a jumper with 28 ticks left to give Nichols a 60-58 lead.

Moran lined up for a 3-point attempt from the right corner and was fouled in the act, giving him three shots. After hitting all three to give the Leopards a 61-60 lead, Nichols called a timeout. Koumare had an open look, but his layup attempt missed and Horning would get the offensive rebound and put it home to give the Bison the lead. A last-second attempt by Wentworth was short, giving Nichols their 20th win of the season.

Koumare came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points as he went 8-for-11 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line. He also added four rebounds, three assists, and three steals and was the lone Nichols player in double figures. Horning finished with nine points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Colon led the Leopards with 17 points, going 6-for-8 from the floor, to go along with three rebounds, and four assists. Moran added 15 points and three assists while Mayo chipped in with 11 points.

Nichols will host eighth-seeded Western New England in a quarterfinal round game on Tuesday While Wentworth will travel to second-seeded Eastern Nazarene. Both games begin at 7:00 p.m.