WESTON, Mass. –Becker College defeated New England Collegiate Conference opponent Regis College, 64-61 on Thursday night. The Pride fall to 4-9, 1-3 NECC with the loss and with the victory, the Hawks improve to 6-7, 3-1 NECC.
Chris Keaton couldn't find space in the second stanza as he was guarded closely by the Hawks defensive unit. He only got off one shot attempt in the final half. Regis held the lead for 34:21 in the contest until Becker took over in the final minutes of the game.
Becker freshman guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) had a career-game as he played in all 40 minutes of the contest scoring a personal-best 28 points on 8-of-13 (61.5%) shooting including 8-of-10 (80%) from three point land.
The Pride offense got off to a fast start holding an early 8-2 lead with 16:19 to play after an Isaiah Wilson (Cambria Heights, N.Y.) steal set up a Sam Jean-Gilles (Melrose, Mass.) jumper from the top of the key from teammate Jeff Tagger Jr. (Brockton, Mass.). Following a few possessions, Keaton checked into the game for the Crimson and Gold and had an immediate impact. Keaton came off screens and buried three straight shots that would have been good from NBA range to put the hosts up 10, 22-12 with 9:34 left in the half.
Becker responded with six straight points including an old fashioned three-point play from sophomore guard Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) to bring the deficit down to four, 22-18. Both squads traded shots before Regis outscored the guests 12-5 over the final five minutes with Keaton again doing damage from three-point land, putting in two more three balls and sophomore forward Jawaun Lewis (Jacksonville, Fla.) sliding in a layup at the buzzer to put Regis up 39-28 at the break.
Kareem Davis came alive for the Hawks in the second half as the rookie tallied 19 of his 28 points in the final half converting 5-of-7 (71.4%) of his three balls.
The Crimson and Gold built their largest lead of the contest; 13 points after Hector Heredia (Lawrence, Mass.) drove down the lane and made a layup after a steal from Tagger Jr. With plenty of time left, Becker rallied around their defense as they forced the Pride into tough contested shots. The Hawks swarming defense, held the Pride to 7-of-22 (31.8%) shooting in the second half while players like Kareem Davis started to heat up.
Davis knocked down his first three pointer of the half with 15:08 left in the contest and cut the Pride lead to 43-36. Regis would then build the lead back up to double-figures after Heredia found Sam Jean Gilles open at the top for a wide open three ball to put the hosts up 52-42 with 11:57 to go.
Becker would respond with a 13-1 run, to take their first lead since the 19:07 mark in the first half. Davis tallied nine of those 13 points with consecutive shots from deep including one after a miss and a huge offensive rebound from senior captain Rashaun Liggon (Elizabeth, N.J.).
After made freebies by freshman Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) which regained the advantage for the Pride, Davis found Liggon for a jumper to knot up the score for the third time. On the next trip down the floor, Afonja dunked over the Becker defense to regain the advantage for the Crimson and Gold.
Both teams couldn't capitalize over the next four minutes as they combined to go 0-of-9 from the field until junior guard Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) buried a three-ball to give the Hawks the lead with 46 seconds left. Jean-Gilles tried to answer on the next possession, but his layup was swatted away by Liggon. Regis was forced to foul, but Davis made both free throws. Instead of settling for a potential game-tying three, Hector Heredia drove underneath for a layup that cut the deficit to 62-61 with three seconds left. The Pride called timeout, but couldn't get a steal off the inbound and were forced to foul Davis. Davis made both attempts from the charity stripe and iced the game as the Pride couldn't get off a potential game winning shot.
Kyle Credle scored 11 points for the Hawks and doled out six assists. Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. For the Pride, Ademola Afonja scored 10 points and snagged eight caroms while Sam Jean-Gilles scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds.
Regis returns to the hardwood on Saturday with a conference contest against Elms at 1:00 p.m. Becker hosts Southern Vermont on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.