The New York men’s basketball team suffered a hard-fought defeat on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Endicott College Gulls by a score of 75-72 in the first game of the Salem State Holiday Classic Tournament in Salem, MA. With the loss, the Knights dipped to a record of 5-6 on the season, while the Gulls improved their record to 6-2 on the 2013-2014 campaign.
The first half of action saw the teams exchange the lead seven times, with the seventh coming via a layup by the Gulls’ Chris Lipscomb. That gave Endicott College a 16-15 advantage with 12:20 remaining in the opening session. From there, the Gulls would gradually build their lead, going up by as many as 20 before taking a 13-point edge into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, Berkeley staged a furious rally, as Jovan Bovell’s layup with 6:28 to go in the game trimmed the Gulls’ lead – which was once at 20 points – to one at 64-63. That is the closest the Knights would get, however, as Endicott converted on nine free throw attempts in the final 6:03, and Keegan Langston’s three-point attempt with two seconds remaining was off the mark, giving the Gulls the three-point victory.
Despite the defeat for Berkeley College, it was Langston leading the way for his squad with a game-high 19 points to go along with five steals, three rebounds, and three assists. Elijah Craig contributed 14 points off of the bench, connecting on all seven of his attempts from the floor while also snatching 10 caroms and adding a pair of blocks, and Bovell added six points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
In the victory for Endicott College, it was John Henault scoring a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds, and Lachlan Magee contributed 14 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Andre Makris also played 16 minutes off of the bench and netted 10 points.
The teams had nearly identical shooting percentages – both overall and from three-point territory. The Knights shot 37.8 percent from the floor (28-74), while the Gulls hit on 37.7 percent of their attempts (23-61). Berkeley College struggled from beyond-the-arc, hitting on 17.4 percent of their shots from downtown (4-23), while Endicott didn’t fare much better from long range, connecting on only 17.6 percent of their attempts (3-17). The Knights held a 50-44 edge in the rebounding department, while also committing just 17 turnovers compared to the Gulls’ 19. Endicott College dished 13 assists to Berkeley’s 12.
The Knights will attempt to snap their five game skid as they battle Bates College on the final day of the Salem State Holiday Classic Tournament on Monday afternoon, with start-time for that contest scheduled for 2:00pm.