Men's Basketball falls to Bridgewater State, 85-79

Samuel Durodola

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Rayshon Ward (Plymouth, Mass.) scored 20 points and senior guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) added 19 to lead the Bridgewater State University men's basketball team to an exciting 85-79 victory over visiting Becker College on Tuesday night at the Tinsley Center.

The Bears improve to 5-6 on the season as they snapped a four-game losing streak, while the Hawks fall to 5-5.

Bridgewater used a 12-2 run late in the game to erase a ten-point deficit (74-64) and set up the game-deciding last minute of play. The Bears scored the final five points of the game over the final 57 second and came up with a two key steals to come away with the well-earned victory.

The Bears had five players finish with double-digit points led by Ward's 20. Ward scored 14 of his team-best 20 points in the second half and also finished with eight rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots. DeAndrade tallied 17 of his 19 points in the final stanza as he went 8-for-13 from the floor including 3-for-4 from behind the arc. DeAndrade also dished out five assists.

Sophomore guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) added 14 points for the Bears, while freshman guard Jonathan Mercado (Lynn, Mass.) notched 12 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Senior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.) posted a double-double with ten points and a game-high 14 rebounds including seven offensive boards.

Junior guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) scored a game-high 28 points to pace Becker. Davis went 5-for-10 from three-point range and connected on 7 of 8 free throw attempts. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Senior forward Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 24 points and a team-best 11 caroms.

Bridgewater State jumped out to a 10-4 lead 4 ½ minutes into the game thanks in large part to strong defensive play as the Bears caused four turnovers during that span. Four players scored during the game-opening spurt including four points from Ward.

Sparked by the scoring of Durodola, the Hawks answered with a 10-2 run to quickly erase the deficit. Durodola scored all ten points during the spurt.

Three ties and three lead changes later, Bridgewater held a 21-19 advantage with 7:41 remaining in the stanza following a Nick Crocker (East Falmouth, Mass.) jump.

A 9-0 Becker run capped off by a jumper and three-pointer by Davis put the Hawks up 28-21 with 5:44 left to play. Late in the period, junior forward Bernard Broaster (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) knocked down a trifecta to extend the Becker lead to ten, 37-27.

Down by nine with the clock winding down in the opening stanza, Carney would drain a three-pointer right before halftime to cut the BSU deficit to six, 39-33, as the teams headed to the break.

Durodola led all players with 14 points over the first 20 minutes while Davis checked in with nine. Mercado score nine first-half points in 12 minutes off the bench to pace the Bears.

Becker shot 50% (14-28) from the floor and connected on 4 of 7 (57%) three-point field goals in the first half, while Bridgewater went 12-for-35 (34%) from the floor and just 1-for-6 (17%) from behind the arc.

A pair of three-pointer from Carney and DeAndrade and a Ward fastbreak layup pulled the Bears to within three, 44-41, in the opening two minutes of the second half.

The Hawks, however, used an 11-2 run later in the period to get the lead back to double-digits at 61-50. Davis scored eight points during the run including a pair of trifectas.

A Carney put back followed by a breakaway three-point play by Ward cut the BSU deficit to six, 67-61, with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest. After a stop, DeAndrade drained a three-pointer to make it a three-point game (67-64).

A Davis trifecta kicked off a 7-0 Becker run as the Hawks' lead ballooned back to ten, 74-64, with 5:49 left to play.

The Bears answered with the crucial 12-2 run to knot the score at 76-76. The spurt featured a breakaway dunk by sophomore forward Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) and a pair of three-point plays by Ward including the game-tying long-range jumper with 3:16 showing on the scoreboard.

After the Hawks reclaimed the lead on a pair of Durodola free throws, Carty made 1 of 2 at the line at the other end of the floor. The Bears then came up with a big defensive stop and Ward drained two at the charity stripe to give the Bears their first lead (79-78) since the 7:41 mark of the opening half. Out of a timeout, Davis converted 1 of 2 at the charity stripe to tie the score at 79-79 with 2:05 remaining.

Neither team scored on their next possession as the clock ticked down to a minute. Carty was fouled with 57 seconds showing and made 1 of 2 to give the Bears an 80-79 lead and force a Becker timeout. St. Louis then came up with a big steal and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game (82-79) with just 33 seconds to go. Carty then made another key steal which led to a DeAndrade breakaway layup to all but put the finishing touches on the big win. Mercado made 1 of 2 free throws to account for the final tally of 85-79.

Bridgewater shot 42% (30-71 for the game and 50% (7-14) from behind the arc. The Bears also connected on 18 of 23 (78%) free throw attempts. Becker made 45% (27-60) of its field goal attempts and finished 8-for-17 (47%) from downtown. The Hawks went 17-for-23 (74%) at the line.

Both teams are off until after the New Year. The Bears entertain UMass Boston on Thursday, January 4th at 7:30 PM, while the Hawks host UMass Dartmouth, on Wednesday, January 3rd.