Second half surge sends Men's Basketball past Elms, 78-59

Donzell Cunningham

LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College men's basketball team used a second half rally to defeat Visiting Elms College, 78-59, in New England Collegiate Conference action on Saturday afternoon at the Leicester Gymnasium.

The Hawks of Becker (7-7, 2-1 NECC) were led by senior forward Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y. / Campus Magnet) with 27 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Durodola had the best free-throw shooting performance of his season, shooting 11 of 12 from the line. Junior guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass. / St. John's), after scoring just seven points in the first half, exploded for 20 after the break, equaling the second half total for Elms' entire roster. Davis also posted four rebounds with three assists while going five of ten from behind the arc. Sophomore forward Donzell Cunningham (Linden, N.J. / Piscataway) came off the bench to score 11 points with six rebounds, while junior forward Bernard Broaster (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Charles W. Flanagan) finished with nine points and four boards. Freshman forward Mateus Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil / Colegio Pedroso e Oliveira) finished with a game-high eight rebounds with two assists while junior forward Dewayne Thomas (Springfield, Mass. / Lowell) chipped in with five boards. Collectively, Becker outrebounded Elms, 40-26.

The Blazers of Elms (0-12, 0-3 NECC) were led by sophomore guard DeAngelo Cousar (Bowie, Md. / Charles H. Flowers) with 14 points on five of nine shooting with four rebounds. Freshman guard Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla. / Wellington) scored all 12 of his points in the first half, shooting four of six from downtown with five rebounds. Freshman forward Andre Peguero (Boynton Beach, Fla. / Somerset Academy) came up with eight points and five rebounds while freshman guard Dylan Bayles (Greenacres, Fla. / John Leonard) also scored eight. Sophomore forward Pablo Ortiz (Newington, Conn. / Newington) chipped in with six points. Elms, who came into the game shooting just 30.2 percent from behind the three-point line, collectively shot 54.5 percent the arc on the day.

Elms used an 8-2 run to jump out to an early lead, a rally punctuated by a three-pointer from Brown with 15:49 to go in the first as the Blazers went ahead 8-4. That hot-shooting would continue, as the visitors would make ten of their first twelve shots taken from behind the arc to open the game, with Brown making four of those baskets. The Blazers would go into halftime leading the Hawks 39-30.

After giving up the first basket of the second half, Becker got back into the game with an 8-0 run to pull to within three off a pair of free throws from Davis. Later in the final period, the Hawks trailed by five when they reeled off a 14-0 run to take their first lead since the opening seconds of the game, a stretch capped off by a layup from Durodola with 8:22 left to put Becker ahead 58-49. The resurgent Hawks pulled away, taking a 19 point lead off a three from Davis with five minutes remaining as the Blazers never threatened again.

Becker will be back on the court on Tuesday when the team travels to Southern Vermont College for a 7:00 p.m. game in a rematch of last year's NECC Championship Final, that resulting in a 79-70 victory for the Hawks for the title. Elms plays their next game on Tuesday when they host Dean College at 5:00 p.m.

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