Beverly, Mass. – Alex De La Rosa (Boston, Mass.) drilled a game-winning three-pointer with 17 seconds left as Salem State erased a 15-point halftime deficit to stun Endicott on Tuesday evening at MacDonald Gymnasium. The Vikings trailed 91-89 before Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) drove to the basket and drawing the defense, kicked out a pass to a wide open De La Rosa who calmly drained the go-ahead basket, which gave the Vikings their first lead of the game at 92-91. A Matt McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) three with four seconds left missed the mark and two free throws by Bryan iced the 94-91 comeback win as Salem State handed the Gulls their first home loss of the season. The Vikings are now 4-7 on the year while Endicott slips to 6-3.
The Gulls built a 45-25 advantage behind nine points from McDevitt and eight by Jordan Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) in the first half. Salem State managed to cut into the deficit as a 10-0 run sparked by two three-pointers and layup from Bryan pulled the Vikings to within 10 points with 2:18 remaining in the half. However, Endicott quickly regained control, closing out the first with their own 7-2 spurt as Salem State came up empty on four of their final five possessions. Bryan led all scorers with 12 first-half points on 5-9 shooting with the Vikings connecting on 16-36 (44.4%) attempts from the floor. McDevitt led the Gulls shooting 50% from the field (3-6) as Endicott converted on 19-36 (52.8%) of their shots in building a 52-37 lead at the half.
Salem State once again crept back into the game as Endicott put the Vikings on the line seven times in the opening minutes of the second half with the Vikings making six free throws. A Tyreik McCauley (Worcester, Mass.) jumper pulled Salem State to with seven, 59-52 at the 14:50 mark. Endicott managed to thwart another comeback attempt by Salem State after the Vikings drew to within four points, 79-75 after a three-pointer by Temitope Bailey (West Springfield, Mass.). The Gulls responded with back-to-back three's by Vinny Clifford (Danvers, Mass.) to re-establish a ten-point lead with 6:15 left.
Following two free throws by the Gulls, Endicott managed just one field goal, a three by Clifford in the final five minutes, which allowed the Vikings an opportunity to steal the win in the closing seconds. De La Rosa scored all nine of his points in the final 2:05 as Endicott could not answer Salem State's charge, failing to convert on the offensive end multiple times in the final minute.
Bryan ended the game with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. McCauley added 18 points and eight boards off the bench while Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.) finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Vikings. Bailey contributed with 11 points and seven rebounds in a balanced attack for Salem State, which shot 33-66 (50%) for the contest.
Clifford led the Gulls with 23 points going 7-9 from behind the arc. Pettaway added 15 points while Salem State held McDevitt scoreless in the second half. The Gulls went 6-19 (31.6%) from three-point range after halftime after going 7-14 (50%) in the first half.