Courtesy of Husson Sports Information
BANGOR, Maine – The Thomas College men's basketball team fell in the North Atlantic Conference Championship, 89-67, to Husson on Saturday afternoon at Newman Gymnasium.
In the loss, the Terriers 2016-17 postseason run comes to an end while the Eagles move on to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Tipping off into the first five minutes, both teams struggled with early fouls and turnovers, before settling into a composed groove. With ten minutes left in the first half, the Eagles came from behind as they took off on a 11-0 run after a layup by Raheem Anderson giving Husson a 23-17 lead. Anderson took charge of the run, capturing eight of the Eagles' 11 points in under three minutes.
On the half, Anderson led all scorers with 15 points and four assists, while Zach Curran followed with seven points and five boards. Justin Smith showed speed on the court, seizing two steals to help his team finish out the half with a 35-34 lead over the Terriers.
Thomas was led by Jordan Derosby (Waterville, Maine / Waterville) at the half, netting 11 points along with his four rebounds. Teammates, Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y. / Lawrence) and Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine / Lewiston) split six points each. Both teams showed dominance under the hoop defensively as Thomas grabbed 18 total rebounds (16 defensive) to Husson's 19 rebounds (14 defensive).
With a slow start into the second half, the Eagles lost their lead until a combo play by Husson's Justin Smith and Justin Martin in the sixth minute helped reclaim the lead over Thomas, 45-44. Terriers' Gonzalez retaliated with a layup, quickly followed up by Eli Itkin draining a deep 3-pointer to start a 12-1 run for the Eagles over the next two and half minutes. Worcester contributed five points to the run, helping Husson capture a ten point lead, the largest score gap of the game so far, 57-47.
The Eagles continued to separate themselves from the Terriers in the final seven minutes of the game, as Worcester commanded the floor from behind the arc, crushing three 3-pointers to increase Husson's lead to a 20-point cushion with 3:42 left on the clock. There was no catching up for Thomas, as the Eagles seized back-to-back conference championship for the ninth time in program history with by a final score of 89-67.
On the game, Anderson broke 30 points for the eighth time this season with 33 points and eight assists, Worcester netted 24 points and six rebounds, Itkin added nine points and five rebounds. Both Zach Curran and Martin tallied up seven points apiece, along with Martin's eight rebounds. Overall, the Eagles shot an impressive 90.9% (20-of-22) from the charity stripe to the Terrier's 75.0% (15-of-20).
Thomas had multiple players' record double-digit points, led by Simon with 15 points, followed by Derosby and Gonzalez netting 12 points respectively, while Ian King (Westbrook, Maine / Hebron Academy) snatched up six rebounds.
The NAC Championship also concluded the collegiate careers of Derosby, King, and Simon. On the season, Simon finished with a total of 575 points, placing him fifth in Thomas history for points in a single season.