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Vikings Hold Off Thomas 88-80

Vikings Hold Off Thomas 88-80

SALEM, Mass. – Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) scored 26 points and added nine rebounds and six assists while Bryan Martinez (Salem, Mass.) scored 22 points as Salem State held off the Thomas College Terriers, 88-80 in game two of the Salem State Holiday Classic on Saturday evening.

Two three-pointers by Martinez helped Salem State open an early 11-4 lead over Thomas. Chris MacDonald's (Wakefield, Mass.) trey extended the lead to nine points, 16-7 as the Vikings connected on all three of their opening three-point attempts.  However, the Terriers responded with a quick 7-0 spurt, highlighted by a long range jumper from Michael Gilman (Windham, Maine) that pulled Thomas to within two points at 16-14. Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.), who netted 11 first half points, made his presence felt, scoring seven straight points for the Vikings, who once again seemed primed to pull away from the Terriers.

Trailing 33-19, Demetris Webster (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) kept the Terriers in the game scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting as Thomas cut the lead to just seven points, 44-37 at the 1:36 mark.  Jordan Goodson (Orlando, Fla.) kept the deficit at seven with two of his eight first half points as the Vikings exited the half leading 46-39 lead.  Bryan topped all scorers with 13 points while Martinez added 10. Salem State went 13-26 (50%) from the floor while Thomas remained within striking distance, shooting 14-33 (42.4%), including 6-14 (42.9%) from behind the arc.

Martinez continued his hot shooting into the second half as he hit his fourth three-pointer of the game to extend the Viking's margin to 52-43. Once again, Thomas responded, going on an 8-2 run with Gilman contributing six points that made the score 54-51at the 15:28 mark.

Thomas was able to get to within a point on two occasions, but both times Salem State answered to keep hold of their slim margin. Tyler Nixon's (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 10th point of the half tied the game at 75 apiece with 3:19 remaining, but a free throw and layup by Bryan put the Vikings back on top, 78-75 with less than two minutes remaining. Leading 80-76, Martinez dashed the Terriers' hopes with a block and fast break dunk that sealed the deal as Salem State converted 6-of-8 free throws in the final minute to claim an 88-80 victory.  

Animashaun added a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds as Salem state improved to 5-7 on the season. Webster led Thomas with 19 points while Goodson had 12 points and 10 boards for the Terriers, who slip to 4-7. Nixon and Gilman tallied 12 points apiece for Thomas and Fleurine 10 with seven rebounds for Thomas, which had five players in double figures.

Endicott defeated Colby-Sawyer 93-69 in the first men's game of the day.