Morton scores 23; Bison best Seahawks, 90-64

Rodney Morton (Photo by Ed Habershaw)
Rodney Morton (Photo by Ed Habershaw)

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College men's basketball team shot 63% (17-of-27) from beyond the arc to propel the Bison to a 90-64 victory over Salve Regina University on Thursday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchup in Dudley, Mass.

The Bison improve to 11-2 overall and 5-1 in the CCC and face a tough test on the road on Saturday at the Wentworth Institute of Technology (9-4, 4-2 CCC). Salve Regina dips to 6-8 overall and 3-4 in league games.

Senior Daequon Antoine shot 8-of-12 from the field and 7-of-10 from beyond the arc to score a game-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists. Junior Marcos Echevarria connected on 7-of-11 attempts, including 6-of-8 triples, to add 22 points, three rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Sophomore Jerome Cunningham had an all-around game, including his fourth-straight double-double, with 10 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and three steals.

Classmate Tyler Dion added eight points and six assists, while freshman Nate Tenaglia chipped in 10 points, and freshman Matt Morrow posted six points, five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Salve Regina was paced by 23 points and four rebounds from senior Rodney Morton. Junior Isaiah Bowman chipped in 15 points off the bench, while classmate Kevin Mannix and sophomore Gabe Granberry grabbed 10 rebounds apiece on the night. Mannix added eight points and four assists, while sophomore Andrew Bronstein handed out a game-high eight assists.

The Bison shot 47.8% (32-of-67) from the field in the win and knocked down 9-of-16 (56.3%) of their free throws. Salve Regina was held to 36.7% (22-of-60) shooting, including 9-of-25 (36%) on its three-pointers, and 11-of-15 (73.3%) of its free throws. The Bison held a 42-37 edge in rebounding and committed just 10 turnovers to 15 for the visitors.

After Nichols took an early 10-4 lead following a layup from Morrow, Salve Regina used an 8-0 run capped by a Morton triple to grab their first lead of the game at 12-10 and force a Nichols timeout. The Bison took advantage of the stoppage, using a 19-0 run over the next six minutes to take a 29-12 advantage with 8:58 to play in the half.

Tenaglia would keep it an 18-point lead on two separate occasions, including a layup at the 4:41 mark, but the Seahawks used an 11-2 run to make it a 41-32 game in the final minute of the half. With time running down, sophomore Kash Jackson knocked down a pull up jumper from the free throw line to give Nichols a 43-32 lead at the break.

The Bison used a 26-5 run to open the second half and take a 69-37 lead with 11:13 remaining on a layup from junior Josiah Kimball. Salve Regina would hang around, eventually trimming the Nichols lead to 74-52 with 5:56 to play, but another Kimball layup three minutes later pushed the lead back to 88-59, and the Bison would cruise to the 90-64 victory.

All-Time Series
Nichols and Salve Regina have met 52 times in the series dating back to 1982, and the Bison hold a 27-25 lead all-time. The Bison have won 10-straight in the matchup since 2014.