BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott sophomore guard Kamahl Walker forced overtime with three-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation, scored seven points in the extra period, and in the process dropped a career-high 30 points as Endicott defeated CCC opponent Salve Regina 82-78 in overtime Tuesday night.
Walker’s late-game heroics lifted the Gulls to their fifth straight win as Endicott now stands at 14-5 overall and 10-2 in the conference. Endicott has also won eight of their last nine games as they head into a crucial regular season showdown with Eastern Nazarene (17-2, 10-2 CCC) on Thursday night at home. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. in MacDonald Gymnasium against the Lions who will be coming off a 68-57 win at home over Roger Williams on Tuesday.
Salve Regina (5-15, 2-11 CCC) returns home to face the University of New England (5-15, 3-10 CCC) on Saturday, February 7, for a 3 p.m. tip-off. UNE lost to Wentworth on Tuesday night 61-49 at home.
Trailing by 11 at 61-50 with 7:27 remaining in the second half following a jumper by Salve Regina junior guard Barrett Hanlon (Hopkinton, Mass.), Endicott clawed back into contention by drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. Endicott nearly set a program record by making 31 of their 44 attempts at the charity stripe, many of which were taken by Walker who set a personal-best with a 14-of-18 performance at the line.
After Walker free throws with 50 seconds left made it a three-point game at 70-67, Salve Regina and Endicott both exchanged possession via the turnover. Endicott’s miscue nearly led to a game-sealing layup for the Seahawks but Gulls senior guard John Henault (Lunenburg, Mass.) made a timely block on a fast-break opportunity. Walker had a chance down the other end to tie the game but his three-point bid failed to fall as Endicott was forced to foul.
The Seahawks, however, could not convert either free throw attempt and after Gulls sophomore forward Daquan Sampson grabbed one of his game-high 12 rebounds and a team timeout, Endicott had nine seconds to try and tie the game. Walker made his second opportunity count as his off-balance three-pointer found the bottom of the net.
In the overtime period, a clutch three-pointer by Henault broke a 74-74 tie with 2:34 on the clock and four free throws down the stretch by Walker helped to put the game away. Walker scored seven points in overtime and finished with 30 in the game courtesy of 6-of-17 shooting overall, 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 14-of-18 at the free throw line. He also had four rebounds, two assists, and two steals while managing to stay in the game with four fouls over the final 5:20 of the second half and the five overtime minutes.
Endicott struggled to contain Salve Regina guards Bryce Boggs (Hyde Park, Mass.) and Hanlon who scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. Boggs knocked down 10-of-19 shots from the floor while hauling in nine boards and registering a steal. Hanlon stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block to go along with his offensive output.
Endicott’s Sampson recorded his fifth double-double this season with 10 points and 12 rebounds and provided a defensive spark with three blocks and a steal. Sophomore guards Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) and Drew Sawyer (Norwalk, Conn.) each scored in double figures as well as facilitated the offense with a combined five assists.
For Salve Regina, freshman forward Adam Quinlan (East Walpole, Mass.) contributed with six points and eight rebounds while senior guard Eric MacKinnon (South Easton, Mass.) added eight points.
For the game, Endicott shot just 33% from the field and 30% (9-of-30) from three-point range but converted 31-of-44 (71%) of their free throw opportunities. Salve Regina shot 39% overall and 25% (4-of-16) from beyond the arc as well as 69% (20-of-29) at the free throw line. The Seahawks outrebounded the Gulls significantly, 56-40.