CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS – The Gators of Pine Manor College, returning just 3 players from the 2018-2019 season, kicked off the sixth season in program history, and the third year under the tenure of Head Coach Joe Chatman at Brunelli Gymnasium against the Eagles of Husson University. The game was a high scoring affair. The Eagles used an 11-0 run in the first half and 12-0 run in the second half to create the separation they needed to put the game out of reach for the home team to lead them to victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
For a season opening game, both teams had offensive attacks that appeared to be in midseason form. The Gators (0-1) scored the first points of the season on a 3 ball from Senior Eugene Everett. The fast start to the game and the season continued for PMC as they jumped out to a 14-7 lead, after Freshmen Jalen Williams sunk 2 free throws. The Eagles (1-0) went on a quick 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game 15-14 at the 15:40 mark in the first half. The Gators and Eagles traded 3-point field goals, and consecutive makes by Senior Jamel Hamans, Williams, and Junior transfer Kevin DiCola allowed the home team to retake a 23-21 advantage at the 13:19 mark. This kind of nip and tuck game was exactly what ensued until the 5:38 mark in the first half. With the score 50-48 Husson, after two made free throws from Junior transfer Tyrique Lee, the Eagles outscored Pine Manor 11-0 in 2:05 of game action, highlighted by a 3-point field goal by Justice Kendall. The Gators played the Eagles pretty much even the rest of the half, with the score 67-57 as both teams began preparation and adjustments for the second half. Hamans had 15 points at the half on 5-8 shooting; Williams had 14 points at the half on 4-6 shooting; Junior Sayvonn Houston had 10 points to go along with 5 rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.
In the second half, the Gators cut the Eagles lead to 6 at the 17:23 mark on another made 3 by Everett. However, the game never got closer than 8 (79-71 Eagles, after a made 3 from DiCola at the 14:10 mark). Similar to the first half, Husson used a 12-0 run in 2:30 of game action to take a commanding 91-71 lead with 11:40 remaining in the game. Sharpshooting for Husson was the name of the game, as the Eagles finished shooting 56.5% (35-62) from the field on the game and a staggering 63% (17-27) from the 3-point line.
There were a lot of impressive numbers offensively and a lot of sloppy numbers defensively for both teams. Pine Manor had 5 players in double figures, led by a strong showing and a double-double for Houston off the bench with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Williams had 19 points and 4 rebounds in his college debut, Hamans had 18 off the bench, Everett and DiCola both scored 10 a piece.
For the Eagles, they had 6 players in double figures, including all 5 of their starters. Justin Thompson led the scoring attack from Husson with 26 points and 4 rebounds. Point Guard Justice Kendall was solid in this contest, scoring 23 points and dishing out 9 of Husson's 20 total assists. DJ Bussey, Bruce St. Peter, Brett Cunningham, and J. Thomas each were also double figure scorers. Here are some more staggering statistics from this contest:
*Both teams combined to make 29 3's in this contest
*Both teams attempted a total of 70 free throws on a combined 51 fouls in this game (24-34 from the line from Pine Manor and 25-36 at the charity stripe for Husson)
*PMC was +12 in rebounding margin (42-30)
WHAT'S ON DECK:
The Gators open a busy week as the regular season kicks into high gear. On Tuesday, November 12, the Gators will travel to the Fecteau-Leary Junior/Senior High School in Lynn, Massachusetts for a 7:00pm contest against Fisher College.
Husson hits the road to play in the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on Friday, November 15, where they will play host school UMass Dartmouth.