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Pilgrims slip past Hornets

Pilgrims slip past Hornets

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – Dezron Wilson hit the go ahead jumper with 1:00 left and knocked down two important free throws with 15 seconds remaining to lift New England to a 73-69 come-from-behind victory over Lyndon Thursday in a North Atlantic Conference matchup at Stannard Gymnasium.

Lyndon, behind a 31-point effort from David Johnson (Washington, D.C.), led for most of the contest, but foul trouble and fatigue began to take their toll late in the contest.

"Foul trouble has been our Achilles heel all season," said Hornet Head Coach Chris Dorsey. "We gave up 17 points from the free throw line and that cost us the game."

Lyndon built a 29-19 lead midway through the opening half as Johnson came out on fire. The senior guard tallied 15 of the team's first 30 points, but it was not enough to hold off the Pilgrims. Ryan Schmitz drained a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to close out a 14-6 New England run that left the visitors trailing 35-33 heading into intermission.

In the second half, Lyndon employed a 1-2-2 full-court press to pick up the tempo in the game, but the Pilgrims managed to make the proper adjustments and remain in the contest. The Hornets did build a 52-43 advantage with 12:45 left to play, but New England refused to fold.

"We wanted to pick up the tempo and our press has worked well the past few games," said Dorsey. "It allowed our defense as we managed to score off steals and turnovers. But again, foul trouble started to become a factor."

A few costly turnovers and a few defensive lapses began to whittle the Lyndon lead down to a few points. The lead went back-and-forth for the better part of five minutes before Wilson's jumper gave the Pilgrims the lead for good.

Wilson finished the contest with a team-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots and one steal. Jonathan Byrnes added 19 points, three rebounds, two assists and one block while Schmitz collected 15 points four rebounds, one assists and three steals.

Johnson had four rebounds, three assists and six steals in the game while teammate Rob Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) chipped in 13 points three rebounds, two assists, one block and two steals. Dawda Jallow (Allen, Texas) had a game-high 11 rebounds in the game.

With the win New England improves to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in the NAC while Lyndon drops to 2-6 and 1-3. The Hornets return to action Saturday when they travel to New London, Conn. to face Colby-Sawyer College at 3 p.m.

"We going into Saturday's game focused on playing hard for 40 minutes," said Dorsey. "We are going to continue to grow and develop and play with the same confidence and attitude we have in the past."