Johnson, VT - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team came up with a big offensive performance in defeating Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on the second day of the annual Northern Vermont University Tip-Off Classic, hosted by NVU-Johnson. The Hornets and the Trailblazers are now both 1-1 on the season.
The Hornets came out firing to start the game, as a pair of three-pointers from Zach Falkenburg (Bridgeport, NY) and one each from Damon Denteh (Jamaica, NY) and Luke Fredsell (Whitesboro, NY) propelled the Hornets to a 16-7 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Following a timeout, the Trailblazers responded and climbed back into the game. Quentin Gittens' layup gave MCLA their first lead of the game at 24-23 with 12:25 to go in the opening half. Nick Escabi's putback made it a three-point game. Then after the Hornets' Timothy Hoar (Shelburne Falls, MA) converted a pair of free throws, Chris Becker's basket inside and a steal and layup from Marius Turner gave MCLA a 30-25 lead midway through the half, a lead that would turn out to be their largest of the game.
Following a Hornet timeout, Fredsell converted a layup, then Neal Mulligan (Marshfield, VT) knocked down a three-pointer to pull Lyndon back even. Two Becker free throws put the Trailblazers back in front, but Kyle Cary's (Selkirk, NY) basket and free throw gave Lyndon back the lead, and the Hornets would never relinquish it. Cary capped a 12-0 Lyndon run with a score inside to put Lyndon in front, 42-32, with 5:20 remaining in the opening half. Lyndon would maintain the advantage, eventually taking a 55-46 lead into halftime.
MCLA's Ki-Shawn Monroe converted a pair of free throws to start the scoring in the second half, but the Hornets followed with a 16-7 run capped by a pair of Denteh threes to build their biggest lead, 71-55, with 10:48 to go in the game.
Noah Yearsley stopped the Lyndon run with a three-pointer, then Hayden Bird connected on back to back threes and a jumper to fuel an 11-0 MCLA run that would narrow the Lyndon lead to 71-66 with 9:01 remaining. Following a Cary free throw, Bright Afful's basket cut the Hornet lead to four. Afful then made one of two free throws to make it 72-69 with 7:08 to go.
Lyndon answered with an 8-0 run on threes from Denteh and Fredsell, and a runner from Falkenburg to take the lead back to double digits. MCLA again clawed their way back in it, and Damon Daniel's layup made it a four-point game with 2:20 to go.
Cary then converted one of two free throws and Peyton Olsen (Middleburgh, NY) drained a three to move the lead back to eight. Denteh's two free throws took the lead back to double digits with just over a minute to go and the Hornets held off the Trailblazers from there to come away with their first win of the season.
Denteh was tops among five double figure scorers for the Hornets, as he finished with 19 points, including conncting on five of nine from behind the arc. Falkenburg went five for six from the floor and three for four from the arc to total 15 points and Cary finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Fredsell chipped in 11 points and was credited for a game high six assists and Olsen rounded out the double figure scorers with ten points. Hoar was a presence on the interior as he pulled down a game high ten rebounds.
Monroe led MCLA with 18 points while Becker and Mike DeMartinis finished with 16 and 14 respectively.
The Hornets connected on 30 of 60 shots, including 15 of 35 from long range. MCLA meanwhile made 30 of their 70 attampts but only five on 19 from distance. MCLA held a 45-31 rebounding advantage.
Denteh and DeMartinis were named to the All-Tournament team, along with Jaymes Savage of NVU-Johnson and Jeremiah Shaw of Vermont Technical College. Johnson defeated VTC 95-87 in overtime in the final game of the Classic.