BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's basketball team opened their home schedule at MacDonald Gymnasium on Tuesday evening with an 80-70 non-conference win over Lesley University, benefiting from a double-double performance by junior guard John Henault (Lunenburg, Mass.) who dropped 16 points and shattering his career-highs for rebounds and assists with 17 boards and seven dimes.
Endicott, now 3-0 on the season, improved to 3-0 all-time versus the Lynx with now two wins at home. The Gulls take their unbeaten record into Rivier's Live Free or Die Invitational where they will take on Wheelock on Friday, November 22nd at 8:00 pm in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Lesley (0-2), who rallied behind an efficient 7-of-9 shooting effort from three-point range by senior guard Mike Kaufman (Boca Raton, Fla.), visits Western Connecticut State on Saturday, November 23rd for a 5:00 pm tip-off in the Maron Hotel and Suites Classic. Kaufman finished with a game-high 22 points off the bench with four rebounds and two steals.
As a team, the Gulls shot 47% from the field but with just a 4-of-14 success rate from beyond the arc, the Gulls pushed the tempo and ran the floor to produce 16 points on fast-break opportunities. Endicott also attacked the glass and held a significant rebounding advantage (53-to-30) which produced several second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.
Complementing Henault's 16-point game was fellow junior Andre Makris (Southbury, Conn.) who dropped 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 3-of-4 at the line. Makris did his part defensively as well, blocking three shots and forcing a turnover. Off the bench, senior guard Greg Jacques (Brockton, Mass.) and sophomore Taylor Rioux (Ivoryton, Conn.) contributed with 12 and nine points, respectively, while both freshmen Stephen Basden (Lynn, Mass.) and Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) dropped six points each.
For the Lynx, junior guard Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J.) scored 14 points, dished five assists, and recorded five steals in 33 minutes in a starting role. Senior big man Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif.) totaled nine points, five rebounds, and three swats before fouling out of the game. As a team, Lesley shot just 36% but thanks to Kaufman's success from deep, the Lynx converted nearly 59% of their three-point attempts.
In the first half, Endicott raced out to a 7-0 lead and held a single digit advantage for the much of the period until another seven-point run pushed the Gulls advantage to 12 points at 38-26 following a three ball by Henault with 2:04 remaining in the half. The Blue and Green would take a 12-point lead into halftime with Henault already creeping on a double-double with eight point and seven boards. Basden scored all six of his points in the first half including a jumper with four ticks remaining to cap off the scoring.
The second half saw Endicott take a 15-point lead three different times in the early going as a pair of layups by Tell White (New Castle, N.H.) and a bucket by Jacques kept the Gulls ahead by double digits. Endicott's control, however, slipped to as little as five points at 65-60 after a Kaufman three with 4:05 left in regulation capped off a 9-2 run for the Lynx. Down the stretch, however, Makris stepped up for Endicott with six points, including two on a thunderous dunk, as well as a block on the defensive end to thwart Lesley's comeback bid. The Blue and Green held on for the 80-70 win to maintain their unbeaten record.