Paxton, MA – The Anna Maria men's basketball team has set a school record for consecutive wins, closing out the 2012-2013 regular season with a 77-74 win over Great Northeast Athletic Conference rival Mount Ida College. This was the 15th consecutive win for the men's basketball team, breaking a record previously set by the '91-'92 and '92-'93 squads. Senior Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) led the way for the AMCATS, scoring a team high 21 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
As part of Senior Day, Anthony Click (Springfield, MA), Daniel Beliard (Trumbull, CT), Brian Conrad (Holden, MA), Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA), Jose Pena (Lawrence, MA), and Brad Peterson were honored before playing in their final regular season home basketball game. Bristol provided stability at both ends of the court, scoring 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 4 steals.
Also contributing in the victory, junior Joey Barillo (Dania Beach, FL) scored 10, while sophomore Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) chipped in with 9 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs placed four players in double figures. Sophomore Jeff McNair (Brockton, MA) led all scorers with 22 points. Freshman John Fortes (New Bedford, MA) had 17 points, while teammates Cam Walker (New Bedford, MA) netted 15 and Terace Macklin (Brockton, MA) contributed with 11 points.
The Mustangs opened up the first half establishing an early 12-6 lead, with Macklin scoring six of his eleven points in the first five minutes of the game. The AMCATS kept within striking distance, and Daniel Beliard Jr. tied the game at 28 apiece with 5:23 remaining. The Mustangs offense responded with an 11-2 run to close out the half, with McNair scoring 7 of the 11 points, giving Mount Ida a 39-30 lead.
The AMCATS came out of the locker room determined to chip away at the Mustangs lead, as they went on a 9-2 run to open the half. Barillo hit a deep 3-point attempt to pull Anna Maria close, 41-40 with 16:42 remaining. Senior Brad Peterson was able to give the AMCATS their first lead since the early minutes of the first half with a fast break dunk, set up by a well-placed passed from teammate Michael Gorman (Methuen, MA). This was Peterson's second dunk of the contest, giving the AMCATS a 46-45 advantage.
While both teams traded baskets for the majority of the second half, the Mustangs were finally able to break through with back-to-back baskets from McNair and Walker to give Mount Ida a 68-63 advantage with six minutes remaining. Ida held onto their lead late into the contest, and with 1:47 remaining, they were up 74-70. Joey Barillo took charge for the AMCATS, converting on a feed from Daye with 1:11 remaining, cutting the Mustang lead to 2. After a Mustang turnover, Barillo buried a three-pointer to put Anna Maria up 75-74 with 33 seconds remaining. Two Javier Bristol free throws provided the team with a 77-74 advantage with eight seconds on the clock. Bristol then sealed the deal defensively, blocking the final shot of the game with two seconds on the clock, giving the AMCATS the victory.
Mount Ida has finished their season with a record of 7-18 (3-15 GNAC). With the record win, Anna Maria has finished their regular season with an 18-7 record (16-2 GNAC). The AMCATS have finished with the best record in the conference, and will host Emmanuel College in round one of the conference tournament at the Fuller Center on Tuesday February 19th at 7:00 PM.