Second Half Surge Lifts Men's Basketball Past Wheelock

Second Half Surge Lifts Men's Basketball Past Wheelock

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass – Junior guard Donovin Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn.) scored 22 points on 9-15 from the floor to lead the Becker College men's basketball team over host Wheelock College, 72-58, this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference contest at Brunelli Court on the campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.  The Hawks improve to 4-4 overall and 1-0 in NECC play, while the Wildcats fall to 0-6 and 0-2.

Becker owned a slim three-point lead at halftime, but held Wheelock to just 29% (9-31) shooting from the floor in the second half to come away with the victory.

Sophomore forward Joe Reedy (Orlando, Fla.) made a layup with 16:20 showing in the second half to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the afternoon at 44-41, but the Hawks responded with a 12-1 stretch, led by six points from Ford-Hayes to give them a 53-45 cushion with 10:58 left in the second half.  Wheelock later cut the deficit to 58-53 when freshman Derek Fournier (Johnston, R.I.) drilled his school-record eighth three-pointer of the game at the 5:11 mark of the half.  It was as close as the home team would get as Becker reeled off nine unanswered points to take its largest lead of the day at 67-53 with 2:14 remaining. 

The teams traded leads 10 times in the first 12 minutes of the first half.  Fournier was the offense for the Wildcats, scoring their first 15 points until senior swingman Paul Coucci (Dartmouth, Mass.) converted a layup for Wheelock to give it a 17-15 margin with 9:36 to go in the opening half.  Becker netted the next nine points, including five points from sophomore forward Scott Dulaire (Bloomfield, Conn.) and a three-pointer to give the visitors a 24-17 lead with 7:24 left in the period.  The Hawks later maintained a 29-22 lead with just over six minutes to play in the half, before the Wildcats scored five straight points, capped by a trifecta from freshman point guard Nicholas Fenton (West Hartford, Conn.) to pull them to within 29-27 with 5:05 to play in the half.  Becker took a 37-34 lead into the break.

Ford-Hayes was also a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line and added a team-high five assists in addition to three rebounds and three steals for Becker.  Senior guard Tyler Roberson (Irvington, NJ) netted 20 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out an assist, while junior forward David Maturah (Windsor Locks, Conn.) finished with 16 points on 6-10 from the field, six boards, two steals, a pair of blocks and an assist.  Dulaire was the fourth player in double-digits for the Hawks with 10 points and added eight rebounds and four assists.

Fournier was nearly flawless from beyond the three-point arc for Wheelock, hitting on 8-11 for a game-high 24 points, while pulling down seven rebounds and coming up with a steal.  Freshman forward Anthony Williams (White Plains, N.Y.) contributed with 10 points, eight rebounds and an assist and Fenton became the first freshman in school history to dole out 10 assists and just the second player in school annals to register double-digit assists in a game.  He also scored six points, grabbed a pair of rebounds and made a steal. 

The Wildcats will be in action again on Tuesday, December 10 when they travel to Newton, MA to take on Lasell College at 8:00 p.m., while Becker returns to action after the New Year with a home match-up with Worcester Polytechnic Institute on January 3 at 2:00 p.m.