BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Sophomore guard Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) scored a game-high 28 points, including 27 in the second half, to lead the visiting Endicott College men's basketball team to an 84-76 victory over Bridgewater State University on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Gulls improve to 5-2 with their third consecutive win, while the Bears fall to 4-6 with their fourth straight setback.
After going 0-for-9 from the floor in the first half (0-for-6 from three), Brown connected on 8 of 15 field goal attempts over the final 20 minutes including 4-for-7 from behind the arc. He also knocked down 8 of 9 free throws for the game and grabbed nine rebounds.
Freshman forward Matt McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) added 11 points for the Gulls, while senior guard Joel Villa (Bronx, N.Y.) checked in with ten points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Junior forward Vinny Clifford (Danvers, Mass.) came off the bench to score 13 points (all in the first half) in 23 minutes.
Senior guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) paced Bridgewater State with 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting (4-for-7 3's) to go along with four assists, while senior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.) posted his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 boards. Twelve of Carty's 19 points came at the free throw line. Sophomore guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) rounded out the Bears' double-digit point producers with 12 points, all coming in the second half. Carney also contributed three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
The first half, which featured two ties and seven lead changes, was close throughout as neither team led by more than five points. The Bears held the biggest advantage in the stanza at 16-11 with 11:07 remaining in the period. The Gulls trailed 25-21 nearing the six minute mark, but outscored the Bears 15-7 the rest of the way to take a 36-32 lead into the break.
Clifford led all players with 13 points in the opening stanza. He connected on 5 of 7 field goal attempts including 3-for-5 from behind the arc. DeAndrade paced the Bears with eight points including a pair of trifectas.
Endicott shot 41% (13-32) in the first half and made seven three-pointers (7-18). Bridgewater shot 46% (13-28) from the floor and went 4-for-8 (50%) from behind the arc over the first 20 minutes.
The Gulls maintained the lead throughout the second half, but were never able to pull away. Bridgewater pulled to within one, 57-56, with 9:01 remaining following a Jonathan Mercado (Lynn, Mass.) jumper. Back-to-back three-point plays by Villa and McDevitt, however, extended the Gulls lead to 63-56.
Later in the period, a pair of Carty free throws got the Bears to within three, 71-68, but Brown answered with a three-pointer at the other end of the floor to push the Endicott lead back to six, 74-68, with 2 ½ minutes left to play. Carty made 1 of 2 free throws and the Bears came up with a defensive stop, but could not capitalize on it. McDevitt then drained a three with the shot clock winding down to make it an eight-point game (77-79) with a little over a minute remaining.
DeAndrade quickly answered for the Bears with a three-pointer and, after a pair of Brown free throws, knocked down another trifecta to cut the deficit to 79-75 with just 40 seconds showing on the scoreboard. Endicott, however, would go 5-for-6 from the line in the final 37 seconds to seal the victory.
Both teams shot 54% (14-26) from the floor in the second half. The Gulls made 7 of 14 (50%) three-pointers and went 13-for-16 (81%) from the charity stripe in the final stanza. The Bears finished just 2-for-10 from behind the arc in the second half and went 14-for-17 (82%) at the free throw line.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday night at seven. The Bears entertain the Hawks of Becker College, while the Gulls travel to Salem State University to take on the Vikings.