HENNIKER, N.H. - Despite leading for the majority of the second half, the Johnson State College men's basketball team saw host New England College rally for a 89-80 win in the teams' North Atlantic Conference (NAC) opener on Thursday. The Badgers slide to 0-6 overall, 0-1 NAC while NEC improves to 1-5, 1-0 NAC.
Johnson was led by sophomore forward Bryan Hickey (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) who recorded his first collegiate double-double with team-high's of 19 points and 11 rebounds on 7-12 shooting. Four other Badgers were in double-figures with junior point guard Andy Bousono (Philadelphia, Penn./Nueva Esperanza) and freshman forward Cory Chase (Milton, Vt./Milton) each adding 12 points, sophomore guard Scott Moran (Orange, Conn./Amity) adding 11 points, and junior forward Cody Camisa (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) chipping in with 10.
NEC saw sophomore guard Troy Prather go for a game-high 27 points including a 12-for-12 effort at the free throw line whil junior wing Abdi Mohamed added 18 points. Senior swingman Spencer Marzouk recorded 12 points and nine rebounds and senior center Eric Eklund scored 10.
The Badgers fell behind early 11-2 but rallied for a five-point halftime lead at 41-36 behind the scoring of Hickey and Chase. JSC would surge to an eight-point lead on two occassions in the second half but NEC would tie the game at 77 with just over two minutes to play.
A Camisa 3-pointer with 1:55 to play gave Johnson the 80-77 advantage but the Pilgrims would score the games final 12 points as they forced three JSC turnovers that all turned into points.
Johnson will return home for a game on Saturday at 1:00 against Colby-Sawyer College next while NEC will travel to Lyndon State College for their next contest, also at 1:00 pm on Saturday.