Nor'easters near perfect at the line down the stretch

Kevin Kelly scored 17 points and recorded six boards and seven assists. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)
Kevin Kelly scored 17 points and recorded six boards and seven assists. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)
BIDDEFORD, Maine - Avery DeBrito (New Bedford, Mass.) tallied 22 of his 25 points following halftime as the University of New England pumped in 73 during the period, overcoming a 10-point deficit to pick up a 104-88 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball win against Salve Regina University on Tuesday night (Jan. 8) at the Harold Alfond Forum.
The Nor'easters (4-10, 2-3 CCC) began the final frame with a 17-7 run that pulled things even at 48-all, but after knotting the score again (60-60), still trailed 67-63 with 8:16 left to play. Then, in less than four minutes, UNE surged ahead (80-70) with a 17-3 spurt that featured 10 points from DeMarquez Hadnot (Pflugerville, Texas).
The Seahawks (6-8, 2-3 CCC) could only get back as close as seven the rest of the way (82-75, 89-82), and the Nor'easters hit 15-of-16 at the line in the last 66 seconds to shut the door.
Following a 1st half with only 34 percent shooting accuracy, UNE connected at a 64 percent clip in the 2nd (including 7-for-14 from deep) on the way to establishing a season-best scoring output for one session. The hosts finished 33-of-43 from the charity stripe, good for a 24-point advantage over SRU.
Salve Regina was hampered by 28 turnovers in the game, from which UNE picked up 18 steals and registered 25 points heading the other direction.
Alex Kravchuk (Mansfield, Conn.) topped the Nor'easters with 26 points and four steals. DeBrito added six assists and six thefts to his scoring line, while Hadnot dialed up 23 points. Ryan Beatty (Rochester, Mass.) had 13 of his 16 points post-intermission.
The Seahawks put five in double figures, getting 17 apiece out of Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) and Mikey Spencer (Abington, Mass.). Kelly also recorded six boards and seven assists. Tyler Benjamin (Fitchburg, Mass.) contributed 12 points, with Cameron Collins (Oakdale, Conn.) at 11 and Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.) generating 10. Collins and Friberg secured 10 and seven rebounds, respectively, which helped the visitors to a 43-28 cushion on the glass.
Kravchuk and UNE raced out to a 16-6 edge in the opening stanza, only to see SRU counter with an 18-4 run behind Kelly. Things were briefly level at 26-all, before the Seahawks used a 15-5 stretch to take control at the break.