Castine, ME - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team jumped out to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into Friday's North Atlantic Conference game at Maine Maritime. The Hornets then held off the Mariners the rest of the way to come away with an 87-82 victory. Lyndon picks up their first NAC win in ten conference starts and improves to 3-18 on the season. Maine Maritime falls to 9-10 overall and 5-4 in the NAC.
Kenan Hajdarevic (St. Johnsbury, VT) knocked down a three-pointer on Lyndon's first possession of the game to ignite the early run. Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) followed with another three, and Kyle Cary (Selkirk, NY) scored back to back baskets to make it 10-0 just 3:23 into the game. Adam Richardson got Maine Maritime on the board, but Damon Denteh (Jamaica, NY) responded with a pull up jumper and a three ball to etend the advantage to 15-2.
Maine Maritime then went on an 18-9 run capped by Nicholas DePatsy's jumper to pull within 24-20 with 8:47 remaining before the break. After Dylan Torello (Port St. Lucie, FL) and Kimani Anderson traded baskets, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run on a three-pointer and a break away layup from Luke Fredsell (Whitesboro, NY) sandwiched around a Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) basket iside and followed by a steal and layup from Denteh to build the lead back to 13. The Mariners pulled to within 44-37 when Rilehy Jorgenson found Richardson with 39 seconds to go, but a Hajdarevic putback and a driving layup from Zack Falkenburg (Kirkville, NY) sent the Hornets into the break with a 48-37 advantage.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second half before back to back baskets from Cary and Shuford gave the Hornets their biggest lead at 56-41 with 17:43 to go. After Richardson connected on a pair of free throws and Gabriel answered with a jumper in the lane the Mariners went on a 10-0 run to pull within 58-53 at the 14:09 mark. Falkenburg then found Gabriel inside and connected on a three of his own to build the lead back to ten. The Mariners were never able to get closer than seven points until the final minute of the game, as Falkenburg connected on seven of ten free throws in the final 1:07 to clinch the victory.
Denteh was Lyndon's top scorer, finishing with 15 points and adding five steals. Falkenburg added 12 points and handed out a team best six assists. Shuford also finished in double figures with 11 and Gabriel added eight points and a team best six rebounds. Richardson topped four double figure scorers for the Mariners, finishing with a game high 22 points and adding ten assists. Andrew Liebert added 21 points and DePatsy and Anderson chipped in 18 and 15 points respectively. Lyndon's depth proved pivotal in the contest, as 14 Hornets played, with 12 scoring, while the Mariners only used seven players.
Both teams shot the ball well, as Lyndon connected on 34 of 60 shots (56.7%), while Maine Maritime made 30 of 58 (51.7%). The Hornets made nine of 21 from three-point range, while the Mariners hit five of 14 from distance. Both teams finished with 29 rebounds and 14 turnovers.
The Hornets will complete their Maine road trip tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 pm at Husson University.