The Commonwealth Coast Conference experts may be calling it an upset, but there was nothing fluky about the Endicott men's basketball team's 90-66 thrashing of top-seeded Salve Regina on Saturday.
It was the sixth conference championship for the Gulls (20-8), and it came in the midst of an eight-game winning streak the team will carry into the Division 3 NCAA tournament later this week.
A strong defensive team, Salve Regina entered Saturday's conference title bout allowing only 66.4 points per game. But the Gulls exploded for 50 second-half points behind double-digit scoring by four of their five starters.
Freshman guard John Henault was 6-for-8 from long range to finish with 24 points as well as five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Lance Greene also poured in 24 points for the Gulls to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Lachlan Magee (21 points) and Andre Makris (10 points) produced, as well, for the Endicott offense, while Erik Callo was a beast on the boards and finished with six of the Gulls 10 blocked shots.
The NCAA Division 3 Selection Show is scheduled for today at noon and will deliver the Gulls' seed, as well as the destination of their first-round game.
• • •
The Endicott women couldn't duplicate the men's upset, falling in the CCC title match to Salve Regina, 77-61. This came despite 19 points from sophomore Samantha Crough and 16 points from Jennifer White.
Nicole Heffernan helped the flow of the offense, as the only senior on Endicott (17-11) finished with six dimes, three steals and eight rebounds. But the Gulls were ice-cold from three-point territory down the stretch, going just 2-for-9 in the second half.