Thomas rallies late to defeat Hornet men

Thomas rallies late to defeat Hornet men

Lyndonville, VT - The Lyndon State College men's basketball team was unable to hold off Thomas College on Saturday afternoon, as the Terriers used a late 17-0 run to come away with an 85-79 victory.  Thomas improves to 11-10 overall and 8-6 in the North Atlantic Conference, while Lyndon falls to 2-18 on the season and 2-12 in NAC play.

The first half was tightly contested throughout.  Neither team held more than a five point advantage for the first 18 minutes.  With the Terriers up two, 37-35, Angel Gonzalez (Orlando, FL) connected on a three-pointer and John Morgan (Sanford, ME) followed with another three, and the Terriers found themselves up by eight, 43-35.  The Hornets responded with an 8-0 run, capped by a three from Darren Williams (Wiesbaden, Germany) just before the halftime buzzer, which sent the teams into intermission tied at 43.

Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer and Williams followed with a made jumper to put Lyndon up by five.  The Hornets were able to maintain a slim lead for the next several minutes.  When Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, ME) scored inside, Thomas had trimmed the Lyndon lead to one, 58-57, with 9:42 to go.

CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA) then found Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) inside.  Gabriel then knocked down a jumper and Jimmy connected on a jumper of his own to make it 64-57 Lyndon with 7:50 to go.  A three from Zach Mackinnon (Kennebunk, ME) and a Morgan jumper made it 64-62 at the 6:47 mark.  Kenan Hajdarevic (St. Johnsbury, VT) then found Zach Knowlton (Franconia, NH) for a three ball to make it a five point game.  Following a Carlos Gonzalez layup, five straight points from Williams made it 72-64 Lyndon wiht 5:43 to go.

Carlos Gonzalez again scored inside, but Robbie Rouelle (St. Johnsbury, VT) answered with a three-pointer to give the Hornets their biggest lead, 75-66, with 4:49 remaining.  Following two Angel Gonzalez free throws Shuford would connect to keep the Hornet lead at nine with 4:23 to go.  Unfortunately for the Hornets, that would be their final field goal until the closing seconds.

After a Carlos Gonzalez layup, back to back threes from Mackinnon and Angel Gonzalez brought the Terriers back within one.  Following a Lyndon turnover, Mackinnon shook free for a backdoor layup off of a Carlos Gonzalez feed to give Thomas its first lead of the second half with 1:55 to go.  Lyndon failed to convert inside on its next possession, and a Mackinnon jumper made it 80-77 Thomas with 54 seconds to go.  The Hornets would again come up dry on their next three possessions, as Thomas extended its run to 17-0 before a Jimmy layup at the buzzer.  Mackinnon scored nine of his 16 points during the deciding run.

Carlos Gonzalez led Thomas with 21 points and 10 rebounds.  Angel Gonzalez added 17, Mackinnon 16, and Morgan 15.  Justin Butler (Orlando, FL) finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.  Shuford led the Hornets with a game high 27 points and handed out six assists.  Williams added 21 points and eight rebounds, while Gabriel finished with a game high 13 rebounds.

Thomas made 31 of 67 (46.3%) shots from the floor, including 10 of 19 (52.6%) from behind the arc.  The Hornets made 31 of 71 (43.7%), including 12 of 27 (44.4%) from distance.  Thomas held a slim 41-39 rebounding edge and turned the ball over 14 times, compared to 15 for Lyndon.  The difference in the game came from the foul line, where Thomas made 13 of 20 attempts while the Hornets only attempted seven free throws, converting five.

The Hornets travel to Bangor, ME to face Husson Univeristy on Friday evening at 7:30 pm.  Thomas will host Castleton on Friday.