Jan. 6, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Freshman forward Pete Atkins netted a game-high 21 points to lead the Nichols College men's basketball team to a come-from-behind victory over host University of Massachusetts Boston, 63-56 tonight at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The win improves the Bison to 5-7 on the season, while the Beacons drop to 2-8 overall.
Junior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) netted a layup with 18:38 remaining in the first half to help UMass Boston open the action with a 6-0 run to start the game. The Beacons were in control the entire half owning a 51.5% (17-33) field goal percentage while holding the Bison to just 12 of 35 shooting from the floor (34.3%). UMass Boston led by as many as ten and took a 38-31 lead into halftime with the help of Jean's 10 points in the stanza.
A pair of free throws by junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) to open the second half put UMB on top by nine points, 40-31 but the Bison would roll off 12 straight points, capped by a three pointer by freshman forward Pete Atkins (Gainesville, FL) to take its first lead of the game, 43-40, with 14:04 to go in the game. Junior guard Aaron Jones (Boston, MA/Catholic Memorial) answered the Atkins trey with a trifecta of his own to even the score at 43-43 with 13:44 remaining in the game, and would then sink a layup the following possession to put the Beacons back on top, 45-43.
With 10:43 to play in the half, junior forward Ryan Wilcox (West Granby, CT) converted a lay up to knot the score at 45-45, sparking a 5-0 Bison run that would give them a lead that they would not lose the rest of the game.
Following a jumper by Joseph at the 2:22 mark, UMass Boston trailed 59-56. Freshman forward Chris Milton (Milton, MA) was able to collect a steal on the following defensive stand to give the Beacons a chance to tie the game with a three. Milton was left open at the top of the key but his three-point attempt, with 1:08 to play, only found the front of the rim. UMB was forced to foul to regain possession, but the Bison were a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line in the final minute of the game.
Atkins was 7-14 from the floor and added seven rebounds, two steals and an assist for Nichols, while Wilcox chipped in with 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Also in double figures for the Bison was junior guard Bryan Riley (West Boylston, MA) with 11 points.
Jones led the Beacons with 11 points and three steals in 20 minutes off the bench, while Joseph finished with a double-double collecting a season-high 15 boards along with 10 points and two steals. Jean contributed with 10 points, six rebounds and two steals in his season-debut.
Nichols College will be back in action this Saturday, January 10 when it hosts Roger Williams University at 1:00 p.m., while UMass Boston will travel to Medford, MA to take on Tufts University on Thursday, January 8 for a 7:00 p.m. contest.