DUDLEY, Mass. — Behind a combined 50 points from Marcos Echevarria and DeAnte Bruton, top-seeded Nichols College advanced in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship with an 89-71 quarterfinal-round win over No. 8 University of New England on Tuesday evening (Feb. 21) at the Nichols Athletic Center.
The Bison (21-5) advance to face No. 5 Wentworth Institute of Technology — a winner of fourth-seeded Gordon College — in one of Thursday’s semifinal-round tilts. UNE closes its season with a mark of 7-19.
Echevarria (CCC Player of the Year) and Bruton (CCC Rookie of the Year) each poured in 25 points for Nichols, which shot 50 percent for the game and made a total of 14 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Bruton was 9-for-13 from the field and added five assists. Echevarria canned five treys to go with eight assists. Tyler Dion supported with 14 points (4 three-pointers), while Jerome Cunningham posted a double-double by totaling 10 points and 16 rebounds.
CJ Autry recorded a career high with 23 points in his final game in a Nor’easter uniform. He made four 3-pointers and grabbed a team-high seven boards. Daron Hoges, Jr. chipped in 12 points and Jean-Luc Parker added 10.
In a rematch of a 2015 quarterfinal round 1/8 matchup when UNE pulled off a stunning last-second upset triumph, Nichols led wire-to-wire after scoring the first five points of the contest. The Bison limited UNE to just 26.7 percent (8 of 30) in the first half to take a 35-26 lead into intermission.
The second half saw the hosts light it up from downtown, connecting on 7 of 14 from beyond the arc. Bruton knocked down all seven of his field goal attempts on his way to a 20-point second half.