BRIDGEWATER, Mass. --- The Becker College men's basketball team lost 72-70 to Bridgewater State University in the first round of the Cave Classic Tournament on Friday night at the Tinsley Center in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The Bears of Bridgewater State improve to 1-1 while the Hawks of Becker fall to 1-1.
Becker sophomore guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) led all scorers with 24 points, while senior guard Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) poured in 23 to lead the visitors. The duo combined to shoot 11-for-23 from three-point range.
Bridgewater junior guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) scored 20 points and senior guard Fawaz Mass (Taunton, Mass.) added 19.
In a game that went right down to the wire, back-to-back three-pointers from Mass and senior forward Greg Romanko (Mansfield, Mass.) sparked an early 12-0 run as the Bears' opened up a 14-6 lead.
The Hawks would pull to within two (21-19) later in the period on a Davis trifecta.
Bridgewater responded with an 11-3 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by DeAndrade to take a 32-22 lead with 5:11 remaining in the opening stanza.
Late in the half, the Bears extended the advantage to 39-27 following a Romanko three. Bridgewater, however, would not score over the final 150 seconds of the half as the Hawks tallied five unanswered points to cut the deficit to 39-32 at the break.
Mass led all players with 15 points in the first half, while DeAndrade added 12. The Bears shot 46% (12-26) from the floor over the opening 20 minutes including 7-for-17 (41%) from behind the arc.
Davis paced the visitors with 14 first-half points as he was 4-for-7 from three-point range. The Hawks were 5-for-14 (36%) from long range in the opening stanza.
Becker carried the momentum into the second half, holding the Bears to just a pair of free throws over the first five minutes. A short jumper by Davis tied the game at 41-41, and a Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) layup gave the Hawks their first lead since the opening minute of the game.
Down by five with under 12 minutes remaining, the Bears rallied to knot the score at 50-50 on a DeAndrade jumper and a Patrick McGuinness (New City, N.Y.) three-pointer. Durodola answered with a pair of free throws and Carty made two free throws at the other end of the floor to keep it tied. A driving layup by Davis reclaimed the lead for Hawks.
The Bears then went on a 9-0 run capped off by three successive layups by junior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.), senior forward Michael Soares (Milford, Mass.) and McGuinness to pull ahead 61-54 with under five minutes left to play.
The Hawks responded out of a timeout with an 8-2 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Credle to make it a one-point game (63-62) as the clock ticked under three minutes.
Romanko drained a clutch three out of a timeout to extend the BSU advantage to 66-62 with just under two minutes left to play. The Bears then forced a turnover and DeAndrade sank a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 68-62 with 55 seconds showing on the scoreboard.
Credle converted an off-balance layup and was fouled but missed the free throw with 38 seconds left. The Hawks grabbed the offensive board, but were unable to take advantage as they were called for an offensive foul.
DeAndrade made two free throws at the other end of the floor to make it a 70-64 game with 19 seconds remaining. Credle answered with a three-pointer, but DeAndrade knocked down two more free throws to make it a two possession game. Credle drained another three to pull the Hawks to within two, 72-70, with just three seconds showings. The Bears missed both free throws at the other end, but a long desperation shot fell just short as Bridgewater hung on for the victory.
Carty contributed 14 points and a team-high six rebounds for the Bears, while Romanko finished with 11 points. Bridgewater shot 47% (21-45) from the floor, 41% (9-22) from three-point range and 75% (21-28) at the free throw line.
Durodalo was the only other Hawk in double-figure scoring as he notched 12 points. Becker went 11-for-24 (46%) from behind the arc for the game including 6-for-10 in the second half. The Hawks shot 53% (26-49) from the floor, but finished just 7-for-15 (47%) from the charity stripe.