Late Lead Slips Away as Men's Basketball Falls at Nichols, 66-62

Late Lead Slips Away as Men's Basketball Falls at Nichols, 66-62

DUDLEY, Mass. – A late run by the Nichols College men’s basketball team gave the Bison a 66-62 victory over Curry in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) game Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bison improve to 5-13 overall and 2-5 in TCCC action. The Colonels fall to 4-15 overall and 2-5 in conference play.

Nichols was led by 26 points from sophomore guard Justin Kuntz (Wallingford, Conn.), while first year forward Ryan Sheehan (North Attleboro, Mass.) added 15, netting all but two in the second half when the Bison outscored their visitors, 36-25. Senior guard Justin Aldrich (Douglas, Mass.) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and dished three assists.

Junior guard Jarrell Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) led Curry with 24 points and was joined in double figures by junior G/F Chris Brown (Boston, Mass.), who scored 10 points to go with a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high four blocks.

Nichols trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, but the Bison quietly chipped away at the lead before a Kuntz three-pointer tied the game, 54-54, with 7:03 left to play. The Bison twice cut down Curry three-point leads before Michael Salis (Nashua, N.H.) converted a three-point play to tie it again, 62-62, with 1:10 on the clock.

A Brown free-throw was all the Colonels could muster in the waning minute as Kuntz put the Bison up two with a layup before Sheehan drew a charge on a Jackson layup attempt and then iced two free throws on the next possession to seal the game.

The Colonels led for the majority of the first half, claiming a five-point lead on a Brown trey at the 14:50 mark, but a layup and three-pointer on back-to-back possessions from Kuntz put Nichols in the lead by two just before the midway point. Curry used an 11-4 run late in the stanza to take a seven-point lead and held off the Bison to carry the advantage into the break.

Curry short a scorching 50% (14-28) in the opening frame, while holding the Bison to a 25% performance (8-32) during the stanza. The Colonels finished the day firing 44% (22-50) from the floor and left 10 points at the line after hitting just 12 of 22 free throws (54.5%). Nichols had the benefit of 25 points at the charity stripe, shooting 75.8% as a team (25-33) and finished the game shooting 32.8% from the floor.

The Bison outrebounded the Colonels at a 42-32 clip, including a 17-5 margin on the offensive glass.

Nichols is back in action on Wednesday, February 2, in an 8 p.m. TCCC game at Anna Maria. Curry travels to New England College Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. conference tilt.  (Game recap courtesy of Nichols Sports Information)

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