LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – The Lyndon State College men's basketball team picked up North Atlantic Conference play Tuesday night, losing to New England College 76-73 in Stannard Gymnasium. The contest was the first game for both teams after the December break.
Josiah Woodruff (Washington, D.C.) led the Hornets with 16 points while grabbing four rebounds. Charles Correa, Jr. (Prospect Heights, R.I.) added 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Kevin Love (Bristol, Conn.) and Raymond Monroe (Cranston, R.I.) chipped in 12 points apiece.
Ricky Leonard (Windsor, Conn.) had a game-high 17 points to lead the way for the Pilgrims. Jason Jones (Roxbury, Mass.) recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Izaiah Winston-Brooks (Roxbury, Mass.) and Alonzo Cooper (Hyde Park, Mass.) added 10 points each.
The first half of the game saw nine ties and eight lead changes as neither team could pull away. A steal from Woodruff with four seconds in the period led to an offensive rebound and put back from CJ Jimmy (Modesto, Calif.) that knotted the score at 38-38 going into the break.
Lyndon posted a 12-5 run to start the second half, giving them the largest lead either team had seen at 50-43. Though the Pilgrims closed the gap slightly, the Hornets held on to the lead until Cooper knocked down a three to tie the game at 67-67. After three lead changes, the score was leveled at 71-71 following a made free throw from Leonard.
On the next possession, Xavier Colbert (Manassas, Va.) drove baseline before dropping the ball off to Love for a layup and the 73-71 Lyndon lead. Colbert went down injured on the play as NEC quickly inbounded the ball and moved up the court with the 5-4 advantage. Cooper found Justin Eck (Centereach, N.Y.) behind the arc for the triple, and the 74-73 edge. Lyndon was unable to convert on the following possession and fouled to put Cooper on the line. Cooper knocked down two for the 76-73 lead with 20 seconds to play.
With plenty of fouls to give, the Pilgrims strategically fouled to prevent the Hornets from getting into shooting range. The tactic worked as the Pilgrims held on for the 76-73 victory.
Lyndon (2-6, 1-3 NAC) will host Thomas College Friday night at 5:30 p.m. to continue conference action.
New England College (8-2, 4-1 NAC) hosts Daniel Webster College in a nonconference tilt on Thursday night.