MILTON, Mass.- The Curry College men's basketball fell to the University of New England, 61-50 in conference play in Milton on Saturday afternoon. The win moves the Nor'easters to 5-10 overall and 3-5 in the CCC. The loss drops the Colonels to 1-14 and 0-8 in league action.
UNE jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first half, thanks to five straight points from Daron Hoges, Jr. (West Orange, N.J.). Curry would come right back in the next few minutes, tying the game up at nine following a layup by Jared Thorpe-Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.) with 8:11 remaining in the opening half.
The Colonels were then able to grab the lead following a basket by James Pina (Warwick, R.I.) to make the lead 13-12. Curry increased its lead to four after another basket by Pina made the score 17-13 with 3:40 to go.
The lead remained at least four until the waning seconds of the half. Drew Patno (Lunenburg, Mass.) helped UNE cut the lead to just two as the teams headed into the halftime intermission, 22-20.
The Nor'easters began to chip away at the Colonel lead in the opening minutes of the second half. Gavin Dibble (Greenport, N.Y.) trimmed the deficit to just two at the 15:43 mark. Just 26 second later, Zachary Kupferberg (Chicago, Ill.) tied the game up at 26.
Over the next few minutes the teams would trade the lead before either could take charge. Ryan Matthews (Park Ridge, N.Y.) gave the visitors a two point lead at 33-31 and then Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.) sent the lead to five with a three of his own.
The lead would remain single digits for the majority of the second half as they would get as close as two with 3:51 remaining as the Colonels trailed by just two (48-46). After that basket UNE stretched the lead back to eight following back-to-back threes by Matthews to make the score 54-46 with a shade over three minutes to play.
Curry made one last charge as Pina cut the lead to four after he capped off a personal 4-0 run of his own to make the score, 54-50 with 1:09 to go in regulation. The Nor'easters closed the game on a 7-0 run to take an 11 point victory.
UNE held the advantages in shooting, three point and free throw percentage for the contest. The rebounding battle was even as both teams grabbed 43. Curry finished the game with the edge in second chance points, 9-8 while the Nor'easters doubled up the Colonels in bench scoring, 30-15.
Pina led all scorers with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The senior also collected nine rebounds in the loss. Luke Schreiner (Breezy Point, N.Y.) and Thorpe-Johnson tallied seven apiece while Matt McCune (Somerville, Mass.) and Alex Paul (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished with six and five points, respectively.
Matthews posted a team high 19 points off the bench for UNE on 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three point land. Coveney joined Matthews in double figures with 12 points. The junior also added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks.
Curry returns to the court on Tuesday for a road contest at Western New England at 7:30 p.m. while UNE will also be in action on Tuesday at Eastern Nazarene at 7:00 p.m.