Nick Grassa was held to four points, but chipped in with three assists and a steal. The Gulls defended Grassa well, and did a better job on defense the second half.
“We had a nice comeback once our guys relaxed and played our game instead of worrying about every basket,” said Endicott coach Phil Rowe, his team now 7-2. “We guarded them much better in the second half. This is a nice local rivalry, and Chris Harvey is a good friend.
“We have some really good guys locally. Chris, Gordon’s Tod Murphy, and I get along great. We always hope the others do well as long as we’re not playing them.”
Andre Makris was chosen MVP for Endicott. The 6-foot-9 forward led all scorers with 26 points. He also had eight rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal. Kamahl Walker (16) and John Henault (10) were also in double digits. Makris and Walker had some key baskets to give their team the lead.
“Makris had an excellent inside game,” said Harvey, whose team is now 7-5. “I thought we defended him fairly well down low, but he still made some nice baskets.”
The Gulls went on an 8-0 run to cut Salem State’s lead to three points, 56-53, with 11 minutes left. They took the lead on a basket by Makris, and John Henault followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to stretch it to 78-74 with just under a minute remaining. The Vikings were forced to foul at the end, but did close the deficit to 82-80 on a bomb by Ortiz.
“This is huge for us,” said Makris. “We knew coming in that Salem State was a good team. We got behind early, but went man-to-man in the second half to get on their shooters. We executed together, and this is a good team win.”