WESTON, Mass. - The regular season has come to a close for the Regis (Mass.) men's basketball team, as the Pride was defeated by Pine Manor College by a final score of 72-64 on Thursday night in non-conference action at Higgins Court.
With the win, the Gators improve to 11-13 on the season, while the Pride drops to 12-13.
Before the game, the Pride honored seniors Julio Galay (Bronx, N.Y.) and Roger Hamel (Huntington Beach, Calif.), as well as senior managers Chelsea Aku, Courtney Mosher, and Alexa Nejaime, in their final regular season home game at Higgins Court.
The Gators opened the game on fire, as Jonathan Higgenbotham (Oakland, Calif.) and Steven Collins (Lynn, Mass.) both knocked down early triples to give the visitors just 2:19 into the contest. The run, and the Pine Manor momentum, was short-lived, however, as the Pride responded with a 23-4 run, capped by a three on the fast break by sophomore Dimitri Rosa, (Tiverton, R.I.) to go ahead by 11.
The Gators slowly chipped away at the lead throughout the last 10 minutes of the first half, closing the gap down to 34-32 with a minute left in the period on a layup from senior Louis Savage (Atlantic City, N.J.), but the Pride's Ademola Afonja (Dorchester, Mass.) closed the half with an emphatic dunk over a Pine Manor defender to stretch the margin to 36-32 entering halftime.
Pine Manor came out in the second half and took control of the ballgame. With the score tied at 47 and 12:34 showing on the clock, the Gators went on an 11-0 run to take all of the game's momentum.
The game appeared to be on ice after a Higgenbotham lay-in stretched the Pine Manor lead to 64-55 with 2:16 left on the clock, but the Pride made a late surge to make things interesting. Josh Germain (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Hamel, and Rosa all hit threes less than a minute apart to give Regis a 9-2 run and cut the deficit to 66-64, but the team would quickly turn cold. The Gators out-scored Regis 6-0 in the game's final 1:16 to secure the victory.
Collins and Jamel Hamans (Meriden, Conn.) were the game's co-leading scorers, each putting home 18 points for the Gators on the evening. Afonja was the Pride's leading scorer with 17 points and had the game's only double-double with 11 rebounds.
Next up for the Pride, they'll open up Great Northeast Athletic Conference play on Tuesday with its opponent and location to be determined. Pine Manor will return to the floor on February 24 to take on Alfred State in the semifinals of the American Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.