Nor'easters break away in second half, 111-97

Salve Regina men's basketball at University of New England (Photo by L. Natola)
Salve Regina men's basketball at University of New England (Photo by L. Natola)

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- The University of New England broke away from Salve Regina University after halftime with a 26-10 run, on the way to a 111-97 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball win on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 10) at the Harold Alfond Forum.

Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.) and Gavin Dibble (Greenport, N.Y.) each notched seven points during the deciding stretch, which lasted 7:36 as the Nor'easters (11-12, 9-7 CCC) split from a 70-70 battle as play approached the midway mark of the 2nd half. The Seahawks did manage to close within seven (100-93) at the 2:30 mark, but the deficit was too large to overcome.

Five players reached double figures for UNE, paced by Coveney with a season-high 21 points and six assists. Alex Kravchuk (Mansfield, Conn.) tossed in 20 points, while Jackson McCoy (East Montpelier, Vt.) and Dibble contributed 17 and 16, respectively. McCoy shared the team-lead of eight rebounds with Andrew Marcelino (Methuen, Mass.), who tallied 10 points.

The hosts were out-rebounded by a 49-36 margin in the contest, but their defensive pressure forced 24 Salve Regina turnovers that led to 32 points going in the right direction.

For the Seahawks (9-14, 6-10 CCC), Isaiah Bowman (Roxbury, Mass.) topped all scorers with 25 points. Stephen Natola (Exeter, N.H.) registered another 23 points, and Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) had 20. Natola finished just shy of a double-double with a game-best nine rebounds.

First-period action saw 11 ties and six lead-changes, with a spread of no more than six either way. UNE held a 56-53 edge at the break, using the points-off-turnovers to compensate for Salve's 54-percent field-goal shooting.