Score: Newbury College 96, Dean College 90
Records: Newbury College (17-9), Newbury College (11-14)
Location: Pieri Gymnasium, Franklin, Mass.
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
In a game that featured nine ties and 16 lead changes, visiting Newbury College outscored Dean College 53-40 in the second half and the sixth-seeded Nighthawks delivered a stunning 96-90 victory over the third-seeded Bulldogs on Tuesday evening in New England Collegiate Conference men's basketball quarterfinal action.
The visitors closed the game by scoring 16 of the final 24 points, including a key offensive rebound and putback in the final 20 seconds that helped seal the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Newbury shot a sizzling 53 percent from the field for the game, including 60 percent in the second half.
Dean led by as many as nine early in the second half, but the Nighthawks kept battling back and found themselves trailing just 77-73 after an Armani Baker (Pawtucket, R.I.) layup with less than eight minutes to play.
A little more than four minutes later, the game was knotted 82-82 after Omar Williams scored inside with 3:18 to go.
Tim Deng converted a conventional three-point play on the ensuing Nighthawk possession, but the Bulldogs answered back when Dayvon Russell (Naugatuck, Conn.) knocked down a jumper, making the score 86-84 with less than two minutes to go.
Another Newbury basket, this time from Shamar Simms was followed by yet another three-point play from Pierce Weatherspoon and suddenly Dean found itself trailing, 91-84 with 41 seconds to play.
The Bulldogs didn't go away and after the teams traded free throws, an inbounds pass was stolen by Russell and he quickly scored, tightening the game at 93-90 with 19 seconds remaining.
With the help of a raucous crowd, Williams missed a pair of free throws on the next Newbury possession, but he was able to grab the offensive rebound and score, giving the visitors a 95-90 lead in what turned out to be the game-sealing play.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Amazingly, the Nighthawks had an incredibly balanced scoring performance as four student-athletes – Weatherspoon (24), Deng (21), Tank Roberson (21) and Williams (20) – all had 20 points or more.
For the Bulldogs, Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) and Russell each had 23 points, while Sean Odum (Rowlette, Texas) added 17 and Baker ended with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Nighthawks will now play in the NECC Tournament semifinals on Thursday at second-seeded Eastern Nazarene. Dean, meanwhile, sees its season come to an end at 17-9.