Nashua, N.H. - Nighthawks senior Omar Williams (Queens, N.Y.) made quite the impression in his Nighthawks debut, scoring 35 points on 10-for-22 shooting and 13-for-13 from the line, leading the Nighthawks to a 95-84 victory over the Rivier Raiders in the season opener for both teams.
Williams added six rebounds and six assists in a full 40 minutes. Freshman Francisco Santiago (New Britain, Conn.) finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Sophomore Tim Deng (Portland, Maine) filled the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, and six blocks.
Raiders junior Issaiah Chappell (Sunapee, N.H.) led the offensive attack as he was one of three Raiders to eclipse 20 points on the night. Chappell finished with 27 on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor while senior Isaiah Marks (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and junior Nate Hale (Nashua, N.H.) each totaled 21 points. Marks pulled down eight rebounds for the team-high and junior Josh O'Loughlin (Milford, N.H.) chipped in with eight points in the loss.
The Nighthawks expanded a lead heading into halftime. In the final 2:09, Newbury finished the first on an 8-0 run to lead by nine at the half, 46-37.
The Raiders made it interesting in the final 2:09 in the game, pulling to an 86-82 deficit. The Nighthawks would hit a dagger on their next possession with sophomore Keith Hollman (Cambridge, Mass.) hitting a three, giving the Nighthawks an 89-82 lead.
Williams made his free throws down the stretch, shooting 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final minute, holding off the Raiders and giving the Nighthawks the 11-point win.
The Nighthawks move to 1-0 with the win. It's their first season-opening win since a 76-72 win over Framingham State in 2011.
Newbury looks for a 2-0 start as they host Curry College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. from Pappas Gymnasium.