CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College junior guard Andre French (Torrington, Conn.) tied for the game-high in points with 19, but Becker College received a 19-point, 10-rebound effort from Jerome Cohen (Boston, Mass.) and Terrence Favors (Boston, Mass.) added 18 points to help lift the Hawks to a 75-63 victory over the Blazers in Tuesday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's basketball game at Picknelly Arena.
With the loss, Elms has its four-game win streak snapped and falls to 7-5 overall, 2-1 in NECC play. Becker moves to 7-4 on the season, 2-0 in NECC play and sees its NCAA Division III-best, in-conference streak improved to 21 games.
In the opening 20 minutes of play, both teams shot at a stellar clip as Becker connected on 16 of 35 shots from the field (45.7-percent) while the Blazers hit on 10 of 24 (41.7-percent). Both squads also relied on the three-pointer knocking down four each.
After the Hawks soared to a 7-0 lead over the first 3:32, Elms closed the gap to within one at 9-8 with 13:55 to play in the half and surged ahead when Blazers' junior forward David McDaniel (Plainfield, N.J.) hit back-to-back treys on assists from French.
A French jumper at the 13:01 mark gave Elms its largest cushion of the period at 13-9, but Becker reclaimed the lead on a fast-break layup by Donovin Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn.) at the 8:55 mark and eventually increased its advantage back to seven on a Ford-Hayes jumper with 2:52 to play in the stanza as the Hawks took a 36-30 lead into intermission.
McDaniel, who finished with 16 points in the contest, totaled 13 in the first frame on the strength of a trio of three-pointers, while French added nine points.
Cohen, Ford-Hayes and Tyler Roberson (Irvington, N.J.) added eight points each in the period.
Becker scored eight of the first 12 points to start the second half as Chris Canady (Newark, N.J.) canned a trey to help the Hawks establish a 44-34 lead.
The Blazers then caught fire from three-point range, posting a 17-4 run highlighted by a triple each from French and senior guard Daniel Gonzalez (East Windsor, Conn.), while junior guard Charles Bason (Riverdale, Md.) drained three three-pointers to give Elms a 51-48 edge with 12:43 to play in the contest.
A pair of buckets by Favors halted the Blazers run as the Hawks again regained the lead. A trey by Ford-Hayes at the 6:18 mark gave Becker a 59-55 lead and sparked a 7-1 run that put the Hawks ahead by 10 (66-56) with 3:43 to play.
A French free throw with 1:39 on the clock pulled the Blazers to within seven at 68-61 but that's as close as they got as Becker scored seven of the final nine points to cap a 75-63 victory.
Bason finished with 10 points in the losing effort, while McDaniel hauled in a team-best seven rebounds. French added five assists and a pair of steals to his 19-point effort.
Gonzalez and junior forward Darius Griffin (Winter Haven, Fla.) led the effort off the bench scoring seven and six points respectively.
Becker finished the game shooting 45.8-percent from the floor led by Cohen's 19 points. Favors added 18 points, while Ford-Hayes and Roberson added 11 and 10 points each to give the Hawks four players in double figures.
Becker edged the Blazers on the boards, 34-31 as Yahmad Rountree (Waterbury, Conn.) and Cohen secured 11 and 10 rebounds each.
Elms returns to NECC action on Saturday, Jan. 14 when it hosts Newbury College at 2:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena.