Wheelock men's basketball started strong to give the Wildcats a first half lead, but the defending NECC Champion Becker Hawks surged late to win 84-75.
How It Happened: The Hawks of Becker (6-7, 1-1 NECC) were led by junior guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass. / St. John's) with 29 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. After scoring just five points in the first half on one-for-seven shooting, Davis caught fire after the break, scoring 24 points including a 12 of 13 performance from the free throw line. Senior forward Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y. / Campus Magnet) finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Junior forward Dewayne Thomas (Springfield, Mass. / Lowell) produced a double-double with 15 points with 15 boards to go along with two blocks and two steals. Thomas shot seven-of-nine from the floor. As of press time, the junior leads the NECC in rebounding and ranks second in field goal percentage. Freshman forward Mateus Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil / Colegio Pedroso e Oliveira) finished with career highs with nine points, four rebounds and three steals. The Hawks collectively shot 48.4 percent from the floor.
Becker had a slow start, playing from behind for much of the first half and going into halftime trailing 37-36. The Hawks opened the second period with a 12-3 run, capped off with a put-back from Thomas with 15:58 to go to surge into the lead. The Wildcats refused to go away, answering with a 10-0 rally, a stretch finished with a layup from Crowder with 12:00 remaining as Wheelock took a 54-48 lead. Back came the Hawks, as Davis drew contact again and again to help the hosts outscore the visitors 17-4 over the next seven minutes, and Becker held on down the stretch.
Who Stood Out: The Wildcats of Wheelock (1-11, 0-2 NECC) were led by senior guard Kiwane Crowder (Milwaukee, Wis. / Alexander Hamilton), who came off the bench to score a game-high 30 points with seven rebounds. Freshman guard Erick Hernandez (Tampa, Fla. / Durant) posted 15 points with five boards, while freshman forward Brendan Miller (Tampa, Fla. / Newsome) added 10 points with five rebounds and three steals.
What It Means: Wheelock showed an impressive resiliency with strong runs in the first and second halves.
Up Next: The Wildcats of Wheelock face their next opponent on Sunday when the play at Lesley University at 1:00 p.m.
Partial Release Courtesy of Becker Sports Information.