Bangor, ME - In front of a raucous Newman Gymnasium crowd at Tuesday's North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal contest, the Husson University men's basketball team powered their way to victory 88-56 over the visiting Terriers of Thomas College. With the win, the Eagles advance to take on No. 1 Castleton State College who will host the semifinals on Friday. In the loss, Thomas finished their season with a record of 14-11.
Husson forward Eric Modica (Kittery, ME) led all scorers with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds which tied center Marc Zaharchuk (Richmond, ME) for the lead in the game. Wes Murphy (Norwich, CT) added 13 points off the bench on 4-7 shooting from behind the arc, while senior Brad Libby (Brewer, ME) was also hot from deep, making 3-5 en route to an 11 point performance in his final game at home. Luis Medina (Hartford, CT) dished out a game high eight assists running the Husson offense. The Eagles shot an even 50% from the floor as well as from three point range, and dominated the boards, outrebounding Thomas 43-26 on the night.
For the Terriers, Antonio Juco (Winterport, ME) was the only player to reach double-digits in scoring as Thomas had difficulty scoring in front of the capacity crowd. Franklin Salvador (Somerville, MA) added eight points to the effort while Stanley Greene Jr (Dorchester, MA) and Garen Manzo (Millinocket, ME) were next on the score sheet with six apiece. The Terriers shot just 34% from the floor and were 4-18 (22%) from behind the arc.
Thomas jumped out to and early 5-0 lead, but the Eagles scored the next 14 points to get back in the lead. After Green hit a pair of free-throws for the Terriers with 7:38 left in the first, Husson went on a 26-3 run to close out the first half leading 45-17 at the half. The Eagles' surge sent the crowd - most of which was donned in all white for the Husson White Out - into a frenzy, creating an intensely hostile environment for the visitors.
Husson went on to lead by as many as 34 in the second half, quelling every attempt at a comeback by the Terriers. Thomas was able to bring the game to within 20 points a few times down the stretch, but the Eagles closed out the game with their bench to earn the win 88-56.
The Eagles will take on Castleton State on Friday in the rubber match of the season series in the semifinals. The Spartans won the first meeting on December 9th, 97-96 in Vermont, while Husson held serve bettering Castleton 96-78 in Bangor on February 2nd. The Spartans - who finished the season No. 1 in the NAC - advanced to the semifinals with their 67-43 quarterfinal win over Lyndon State Tuesday night. Game time on Friday is set for 6:00 pm.