POULTNEY, Vt. – Cameron Anderson scored 24 points and hauled in a career-high 19 rebounds as Green Mountain beat Lyndon 88-79 Thursday in the first of two North Atlantic Conference meetings this year for these two teams.
Chris Strong was 11-of-15 from the field giving the Eagles 23 much-needed points off the bench. Diante Warner provided 11 points off the bench and his 7-of-7 line from the foul line was critical in preserving the win down the stretch.
Five Hornets scored in double figures in the loss with David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) leading the way with 18. Jose Berroa (Lawrence, Mass.) posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Robert Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) completed the trio of starters with at least 10 points as he chipped in 10 of his own. Avery King (Pawtucket, R.I.) and Rontrez Purcell (Washington, D.C.) had 13 and 12, respectively off the bench for the visitors.
With the victory Green Mountain (4-7, 4-2 NAC) earned its fourth conference win.
Lyndon (3-10, 2-5 NAC) and GMC battled back and forth for the majority of the first half, resulting in six lead changes. The Eagles were able to pull ahead by nine with 4:38 remaining in the opening stanza when Javier Lugris converted a layup. Undeterred, the Hornets closed out the period on an 8-3 run to bring them within three at the half, 40-37.
Play remained close to begin the second half, but after trailing 47-46 the visitors managed an 11-0 run in less than three minutes to grab a 10-point advantage at 57-47. Berroa contributed six of the 11 points during that run with six consecutive points.
An Anderson dunk seemed to re-energize the hosts as they battled back and tied the score at 62-62 by the 9:09 mark. Over the next several minutes, Lyndon tried multiple times to retake the lead, but each time the visitors would sneak out to a small cushion, the Eagles would respond and tie the score.
With the score tied at 76-76, Lyndon had three opportunities on the offensive end to regain the advantage, but on a Berroa missed three-point attempt, Warner grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the court to make a layup before getting fouled. He continued to convert the and-one opportunity to give the Eagles a 79-76 lead.
The real dagger came after Purcell made a three to bring the Hornets even. Anderson made a nifty move inside for a layup and then following a Lyndon miss, Darius Wynn hit a wide open three to make it a two possession game at 84-79. Warner was a rock from the charity stripe down the stretch hitting all four free throws to ice the game for the Eagles.
Lyndon returns home to face Castleton on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the second time this season, looking for revenge after a tough overtime loss in the first meeting.