NEWPORT, R.I. – The Endicott men's basketball team suffered a last-second defeat at the hands of Salve Regina in the CCC Quarterfinals, 77-76, on a single free throw with 0.8 seconds left in regulation as the Gulls saw their postseason run end. Endicott junior guard and All-CCC Second Teamer John Henault (Lunenburg, Mass.) scored a team-high 19 points but it was not enough as the Blue and Green fell dropped to 17-9.
Endicott's 17 wins in 2013-14, however, completed an impressive turnaround from last season's campaign that ended with just nine wins. It is the third time in the past four seasons, under head coach Phil Rowe, that the Gulls have won at least 17 games in a season.
In the final five minutes of the second half in Tuesday night's CCC Quarterfinal, Endicott and Salve Regina battled back and forth and saw the score knotted on four different occasions. After free throws by Salve's Patrick Dinneen (Medfield, Mass.) put the Seahawks up 72-70, Gulls freshman Kamahl Walker (Worcester, Mass.) responded with a pair of free throws to tie the game with 3:40 to go. A Barrett Hanlon (Hopkinton, Mass.) layup put Salve back on top by two but Walker again hit both free throws after a foul to make it 74-74 with 2:48 left.
The Gulls jumped out on top 76-74 on a layup by freshman forward Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.) off a nice pass from junior Andre Makris (Southbury, Conn.) but this time it was Hanlon who hit the game-tying free throws down the other end with 1:11 on the clock.
After a missed jumper by Sampson, Salve had the ball with a chance to again take the lead but Walker stole the ball from Scott St. Lawrence (Litchfield, N.H.) and raced down the court with 14 seconds left. He found All-CCC Honorable MentionLachlan Magee (Melbourne, Australia) for an open three-point attempt but the shot hit the front iron with the rebound going Salve's Hanlon. Hanlon got the ball to St. Lawrence who went for a game-winning layup, but was fouled by Walker with 0.8 on the clock. St. Lawrence missed his first free throw, hit the second to make it 77-76, and Endicott could not come up with a quality attempt before the buzzer sounded.
Four players reached double figures for Endicott. Henault led with 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting including 3-of-5 from three while making all six free throw attempts. Makris scored 13 points with seven rebounds and two assists. Magee netted 12 points with two dimes and Walker added 11 points off the bench with two rebounds and two steals.
Endicott could not stop Hanlon and Dinneen who combined to score 56 of Salve's 77 points. Thirty-one of those points were scored by Hanlon who hit 12-of-20 shots from the floor and 6-of-9 free throws. He also grabbed five boards and had two steals. Dinneen netted 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 2-of-3 from three-point range, and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. He also hauled in five boards and had a game-high four steals.
Endicott shot 45% from the floor (27-of-60) but just 29.4% (5-of-17) from beyond the arc. The Gulls were efficient at the line, hitting 17-of-20 attempts (85.0%). Endicott held a 36-29 rebounding advantage saw their bench outscore Salve's 20-6.