BROCKTON, Mass. ---- The Massasoit men's basketball team earned the No. 7 seed of the eight-team NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament field and will battle No. 2 Nassau in the quarterfinals, Thursday, March 15 at 5 PM on the SUNY Sullivan County campus in Loch Sheldrake, NY.
By capturing the Region 21 Championship last weekend at Bunker Hill, Massasoit (20-6) earned its first-ever trip to the NJCAA Tournament. The tournament field consists of eight teams, with each school slated for three games during the three-day event.
All tournament games will be broadcst NJCAATV.com
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE – QUARTERFINALS
G1: #4 Herkimer (NY) vs #5 Columbus State (GA) – 12 PM
G2: #3 North Lake (TX) vs #6 Montgomery (MD) – 2 PM
G3: #2 Nassau (NY) vs #7 Massasoit (MA) – 5 PM
G4: #1 Brookdale (NJ) vs #8 Minnesota West (MN) – 7 PM
Region 21 Record: 18-5
How They Got Here: W, 82-80 vs Bunker Hill (R21 Semis); W, 77-74 OT vs Bristol (R21 Finals)
Massasoit won a pair of nail biters in the semifinals and finals of the Region 21 Tournament to advance to the NJCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
After squeaking past BHCC on their home court in the semifinals, Massasoit overcome a nine-point deficit in the second half. Rollsky Edouard's 3-pointer with 12.1 seconds left tied the contest and forced overtime as the Warriors made clutch free throws, two from Jared Costa-Haywood to give the Warriors the regional crown.
The Warriors have won 11 of their last 12 games and after starting 0-3 on the season, have gone on to win 20 of their next 23 contests.
All five starters for Massasoit average in double figures, led by Rael Handy's 18.4 points per game. As a team, the Warriors shoot 43.1 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from the 3-point range and 68.7 percent from the free throw line.
Region 15 Record: 17-3
How They Got Here: W, 70-48 vs Queensborough; W, 102-100 vs Sullivan CC (Semifinals); W, 62-59 at Suffolk CC (Finals)
After narrowly defeating Sullivan CC in the semifinals, Nassau received a 30-point effort from Dana King, including a late 3-point-play to give the Lions the regional title.
Nassau enters the tournament on a 9-game win streak, capped by winning the Region 15 Championship against Suffolk.
The Lions featured a balanced scoring attack, averaging 87.6 points per game as a team, with all five starters averaging double figures. In fact, Nassau has started the same five for all 30 games this season, as Jalen Burgess tops the team, netting 16.8 per game.
Nassau shoots 46.1 percent from the floor, 31.7 from 3-point range and 69.7 from the free throw line. The Lions total 36.7 rebounds per game and do a great job of taking care of the basketball, committing only 11.1 turnovers per game.