LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – A late Thomas surge spelled doom for Lyndon as the Hornets dropped a tough 77-70 decision Friday in the Hornets' North Atlantic Conference home opener at Stannard Gymnasium.
Lyndon led for most of the contest until a dunk by Levi Barnes gave the Terriers the lead for good with 4:58 left to play. Alex Campbell was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory.
"We put in a good effort, but we didn't have a sense of urgency down the stretch and that was the difference in the game," said Lyndon Assistant Coach Zac Harrison. "If we made a few more good decisions in the last minutes that could have swung things back in our favor."
The Hornets came out flying and built an early lead, but fouls trouble began to take its toll as starters Robert Rouelle (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) and Rob Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) drew two quick fouls each. Trayvond Barbary (Buena, N.J.) came off the Hornet bench to add some scoring and rebound punch which allowed Lyndon to maintain its lead into intermission.
"Trayvond gave us a good effort in the first half," said Harrison. "He got a couple buckets down low and Dawda (Jallow) picked up some loose balls that seemed to keep us ahead and offset our foul trouble."
In the second half, the Hornets were unable to pull away from Thomas, who continued to chip away at the lead. With 4:58 left to play, Barnes – who scored his 1,000th career point early in the contest - slammed home the ball off the front end of a fast break to swing momentum fully in favor of the Terriers.
"We began to feel pressured at that point," said Harrison. "We felt we need to get those points back fast and that took us away from what was previously working for us."
Eric Westbrooks had a team-high 20 points for the Terries while Barnes had 18 points to go along with two steals. Adam Carlsen had 16 points and six rebounds for the winners and Campbell handed out four assists in his 19 minutes of play.
George Carle (Central Falls, R.I.) had a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds in the loss and teammate David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) added 12 points and five assists. Barbary had five points and five rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench.
Lyndon will return to action Saturday when it entertains the University of Maine at Farmington at 3 p.m.
"We need to rest up, come back and play defense with some sense of urgency tomorrow," said Harrison. "Hopefully we can get out, build a lead and push it further than we did tonight."