Bangor, ME - Husson men's basketball defeated the Bison of Nichols College Sunday afternoon at Newman Gymnasium by a final of 88-81. Husson led by more than twenty in the second half, but the Bison made a comeback to cut the lead to within five in the final two minutes. The Eagles held off the comeback well however, and pulled out the non-conference win at home.
"We pushed our lead to over 20 with around 12 minutes to play but as good teams do, Nichols made a great effort to get back in the game," said head coach Warren Caruso after the game.
Phil Leighton led the offensive charge for Husson, scoring 18 points in 22 minutes of action. Leighton shot 50% from the floor (5-10) and hit six of ten from the charity stripe. Out of the ten attempts from the line, eight of them came in the final 1:01, where he made four of them to help seal the win for the Eagles.
Overall Husson shot 45% from the floor and almost 69% from the free-throw line, but the stats on the afternoon were almost identical between both teams in almost every category.
The Eagles did enough to win, thought Caruso: "We executed well enough in the final five minutes to win. We became a better team today learning what we need to do better to finish and win games."
Corey Wood's five-of-six free throws with around a minute and a half left also helped keep the Husson lead after Nichols knocked down several key shots in the final five minutes, including several three-point baskets and a fantastic effort from Marion Bennett. Bennett had a game-high 23 points coming off the bench for the Bison in 20 minutes. Bennett was 9-16 from the floor along with collecting four rebounds and nabbing two steals.
Ryan Sheehan was also impressive for Nichols, adding 18 points of his own, eight of which from the free-throw line on ten attempts. Sheehan also played a game-high 30 minutes in the losing effort.
The Eagles improve to 4-0 on the year while Nichols falls to 3-3 on the early season and will play Roger Williams at home this Wednesday the 4th at 7:30.
The Eagles are back in action on Tuesday, December 3rd as they take on in-state rival Thomas College in both team's first conference play of the year. The men tipoff at 5:30 while the women start at 7:30.