LEICESTER, Mass – Elms College held on for a crucial 74-69 victory over Becker College in New England Collegiate Conference men's basketball action Wednesday evening. The win lifts the Blazers record to 13-11 (11-4 NECC), while the Hawks sink to 12-10 (10-5 NECC).
Junior guard Donovin Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn) set the pace early, pouring in 10 points in the opening five minutes, as the Hawks jumped out to an early 12-4 lead. After back and forth play, a three pointer by Dustin Trail (East Hartford, Conn) with 11:05 left in the half gave Elms their first lead of the night. After both teams traded free throws, Sophomore Scott Dulaire (Bloomfield, Conn) gave the Hawks the lead with 2:30 remaining when he completed a three point play with a bucket and free-throw. Hawks freshman Guard Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) caught fire late scoring seven points in the final 1:02 to give the home team a 33-29 lead at the half.
Junior guard Chris Canady (Newark, N.J.) opened up the second half with a three pointer followed by a steal, which lead to a Tyler Roberson (Irvington, N.J.) layup to put the home team up 38-29 early in the second half. A pair of layups for Elms by Conny Ihearahu (Largo, Md.) tied the score at 38 all.
Both teams continued to pour in the points, with the home team finding themselves down 61-59 with just under 3:30 to play. Free throws by Andre French (Torrington, Conn), Kenny Lockett (Atlanta, Ga), and Ihearahu in the final minute were enough to hold off the Hawks.
Donovin Ford-Hayes led Becker with 17 points, while Credle and Dulaire added 15 and 11 points off the bench.
The Blazers were paced by Derek Murphy (Colombia, Md) with 17 points, as all five of the Blazers starters scored in double digit points. Andre French scored 16 points, while dishing a game best six assists. Isaiah Odunlami (Providence, R.I.) went 11-17 from the charity stripe to finish with 15 point and eight rebounds. Kenny Lockett tallied 11 points, while Conny Ihearahu chipped in with ten points.
The Hawks take to the hardwood on Saturday, February 15 at 1:00 p.m. when they host Daniel Webster, while the Blazers finish up regular season play on Wednesday, February 19 when they welcome Mitchell to the Maguire Center at 8:00 p.m.