BOSTON, Mass. – The Wheelock College men's basketball team hung tight from the opening tip but were edged by a furious late rally from New England Collegiate Conference foe Becker College, 69-65. The Wildcats fall to 10-13 and 7-7 in the NECC while the Hawks improve to 16-7 and 12-2 in the conference.
With 14:08 to play in the contest, senior Derek Fournier (Johnston, R.I.) drained a 3-pointer that gave Wheelock their largest lead of the second half, 52-37. That capped a 13-2 run and had the home team seemingly in control.
From there, the visitors began to whittle away at the lead. Over about seven minutes, Becker embarked on a 14-2 surge, culminating in a lay-in by junior Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) that made it a one possession game. The Wildcats immediately struck back with a trifecta from senior Matthew Eason (East Hartford, Conn.) but the Hawks had fought their way back into the game.
At the 5:53 mark, a lay-up by senior Devin Brown (Chicago, Ill.) put the home team up 59-53. Still, Becker would respond with a critical 9-2 spurt capped by a trey from senior Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) and another lay-in for Durodola that had the visitors on top for the first time all game.
A bucket by rookie Antonio White Jr. (Middletown, Conn.) extended Becker's lead to 64-61 before Brown made it a one-point contest once more with 1:24 remaining. Credle answered with a giant basket from beyond the arc before senior Anthony Williams (White Plains, N.Y.) halved the deficit with 34 ticks on the clock.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Wheelock was able to force the turnover they needed but after great ball movement, a Fournier trifecta from the left corner would not go down. Credle drained two shots at the line with three seconds on the clock to seal the away team's 69-65 win.
Wheelock featured three double-digit scorers led by senior Nicholas Fenton (East Hartford, Conn.) with 20 points. He also added a game-high seven assists. Fournier scored 14 including four shots from beyond the arc while Williams had 12 and a team-best seven rebounds.
Becker was led by Durodola who poured in a game-high 28 points while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds. Credle and White each contributed 12 points. Credle and sophomore Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) shared team-high honors with four assists apiece.
Wheelock returns to action on Thursday when they host Regis for an NECC matchup at 6:30 p.m. Becker heads to Daniel Webster for a 7:30 p.m. tip.