Score: Dean College 115, University of New England 110
Records: Dean College (5-4), University of New England (2-7)
Location: Pieri Gymnasium, Franklin, Mass.
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM
In a game that will long be remembered for its final score, Dean College outlasted a high-powered University of New England squad, 115-110, behind a trio of monster performances on Thursday night in non-league men's basketball action.
Dayvon Russell (Naugatuck, Conn.) finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, ten assists and four steals, while his backcourt running mate, Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) poured in a career-high 37 points of his own.
Not to be outdone, teammate Armani Baker (Pawtucket, R.I.) recorded a double-double with 21 points and a game-best 13 rebounds.
The host Bulldogs wound up needing almost every one of those points as well, as UNE got 33 points from Alex Kravchuk – 23 of which came in the second half – and a stellar all-around effort from Avery DeBrito, who accumulated 20 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The contest actually started off kind of sluggish and the Nor'Easters were in front 27-26 after a pair of free throws from Ray Evans midway through the first half.
Over the next three minutes, however, Dean went on an 18-7 burst that featured four three-pointers from Booker, a steal and layup from Brandon Szlaien (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and two hoops from Baker.
Now in front, 44-37, the Bulldogs saw their lead whittled down to 49-47 after a pair free throws from Kyle Frank, but they were able to rebound and go into halftime ahead, 59-53 – a point total that eclipsed their entire offensive output from their loss to New England College less than 48 hours earlier.
The Bulldog advantage continued to grow in the second stanza and stood at 13, following baskets from Sean Odum (Rowlette, Texas) and Szlaien with less than five minutes gone in the frame.
Dean's lead peaked at 19 at 93-74 when the Bulldogs capped a 10-2 run with another Booker triple with under nine minutes to play.
UNE wouldn't go away, however, and they methodically chiseled the Dean down four at 111-107 with less than 30 seconds to play behind Kravchuck's strong second half.
Fittingly, it was Booker who made two key free throws with 22 seconds left and when Kravchuk drained a desperation three in the waning seconds, it was Russell who scored the game's final point from the free throw line.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Dean also got career performances from Szlaien (11 points, four rebounds, two steals) and Odum, who ended with 14 points, ten rebounds, five assists and five blocks.
For Russell, his triple double is just the second in NCAA Division III this season, joining Chris Anderson of Lebanon Valley, who totaled 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over Bryn Athyn back in early November.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. UNE plays host to Colby-Sawyer, while the Bulldogs return to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action with a trip to Lesley.