Hartford, Conn. - Despite shooting nearly 60% from the floor in the second half, the Trinity College men's basketball team could not overcome an 18-point halftime deficit as they fell, 89-75, to the Nichols College Bison on Sunday afternoon at Oosting Gymnasium in Hartford. The loss is Trinity's first of the season as they fall to 3-1 overall while Nichols improves to 3-1 on the year. Trinity returns to action on Tuesday for a home game against Mt. St. Vincent.
Trinity was led by sophomore guard Joe Bell (Manchester, N.H.) who scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting off the bench. Junior center Judah Woney (Harlem, N.Y.) chipped in 12 points off the bench for the Bantams as well, while sophomore Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, Conn.) had nine points and a game-high eight assists and junior forward Jeremy Arthur (Westbury, N.Y.) and senior co-captain forward Eric Gendron (Merrimack, N.H.) combined for 18 points with nine each. Trinity was just 10-for-31 in the first half while the Bison shot over 51% from the field, including 7-of-15 from beyond the arc, in the opening half.
Nichols was paced by senior Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.) who had a game-high 23 points, followed by Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) and DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.) who had 21 and 19 points, respectively. Bruton and Matt Morrow (Leicester, Mass.) tied a game-high with eight rebounds while Daequon Antoine (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Jerome Cunningham (Westbury, N.Y.) added nine apiece.
Both teams traded buckets in the early-going before as the Bison found themselves on the right side of an 18-16 game at the halfway point of the first half. Two minutes later, Echevarria hit a pair of free throws to give the visitors an eight-point cushion but a quick 5-0 run after a three-ball by Arthur cut the deficit back to three. Nichols remained at arms-length from Trinity before a layup by Morrow, followed by a three-pointer from Dion made it a 34-25 game in favor of Nichols. After an empty Trinity possession at the opposite end, Dion stroked another three to open up a 12-point advantage with 3:24 to play in the half. Nichols was just heating up tough, as Echevarria and Bruton took turns draining triples to give the Bison a 45-29 lead before the pair connected on consecutive jumpers in final minute to head into the locker room ahead by 18.
Bell scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half to try and catapult a Bantam comeback but it proved to be too little, too late. Nichols took its biggest lead of the game at the 15:31 mark in the second half when a jump shot by Antoine made it a 63-35 advantage for the Bison. Trinity clawed back, eventually cutting the deficit to 13 on a jumper from Gendron with 4:16 to play, but Nichols held strong down the stretch to come away with the 14-point victory.