Brooklyn, NY - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team rallied from an 11-point second half deficit to pull out an 87-83 non-conference victory at Pratt Institute this afternoon. With the win the Hornets even their record at 3-3 on the season, while gthe Cannoneers fall to 3-3. The win also marked the first time that a Hornet team has won three non-conference games in the same season since Lyndon became a full member of NCAA Division III in 2010.
Pratt jumped on the Hornets at the outset, taking a 10-2 lead just over two minutes into the game. Lyndon scratched their way back into the game, however, and when Damon Denteh (Jamaica, NY) found Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) for an open jump shot, the Hornets took their first lead at 14-12. The lead was short lived, as Griffin Levine answered with a three-pointer for Pratt to put the Cannoneers back in front.
The teams battled back and forth for the next several minutes. After Peyton Olsen (Middleburgh, NY) knocked down a three to give Lyndon a 25-24 lead, Pratt's King Turnbull answered with a three of his own and followed with a layup to put Pratt up buy four. Phillip Lafond (Stoughton, MA) connected on his second three-pointer of the half to bring Lyndon back within one, but Pratt would gradually extend their lead to 26-29 following a Patrick O'Gorman three-pointer with 6:02 to go before halftime.
The Hornets battled back to within 40-39 following a Gabriel three-point play, but the Cannoneers closed the half on an 11-2 run to take a 51-41 lead into intermission. Pratt made 20 of 32 (62.5%) shots in the opening half, including a blistering hot eight of ten from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Lyndon only converted 15 of their 40 attempts (37.5%) and hurt themselves with 12 turnovers.
The Hornets stopped Pratt on their first five possessions of the second half. Unfortunatley, all Lyndon was able to muster at the offensive end was a Lafond jumper, and when O'Gorman broke the ice for Pratt with a three at the 16:53 mark, the Cannoneers had what would turn out to be their biggest lead at 54-43.
Pratt still held a ten point lead with just under 12 minutes remaining when the Hornets staged a rally. Timothy Hoar (Shelburne Falls, MA) got things started with a three-pointer, then Luke Fredsell (Whitesboro, NY) found Denteh for a layup. Hoar followed with another three, then Fredsell's three off of a kickout from Denteh capped the 11-0 run and gave Lyndon their first lead since midway through the first half.
O'Gorman broke the run and put Pratt back in front after a three at the 8:02 mark, but back to back threes from Denteh and Hoar made it 71-67 Lyndon. Levine converted a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game, but Gabriel answered with a three-pointer. After Levine and Zach Falkenburg (Bridgeport, NY) traded layups, Olsen grabbed an offensive rebound then delivered a slick pass to Gabriel, who scored to put the Hornets in front by seven with 4:19 to go.
O'Gorman hit a three as Pratt battled to get back in it. Following an Olsen free throw, O'Gorman's driving layup made it a three-point game. Following a Hornet turnover, Levine knocked down a long three to tie things at 79-79 with 2:02 to go. Denteh was fouled on Lyndon's next possession and converted both free throws to put the Hornets back in front. Following a Pratt turnover, Gabriel caught it in the post and kicked it to Fredsell, who drained a three to put the Hornets in front by five. Falkenburg converted a free throw and Olsen made a pair as the Hornets held off Pratt for the win.
Falkenburg topped four double figure scorers for the Hornets, finishing with 20 points. Gabriel notched his fifth double double of the season, recording 14 points and 11 rebounds while Denteh and Hoar fininsed with 12 points apiece. O'Gorman and Levine led Pratt with 21 and 20 points respectively.
For the game, Lyndon connected on 30 of 69 (43.5%) field goal attempts, including 16 of 39 from the three-point line. After their hot start, Pratt ended up making 32 of 66 (48.5%) attempts, including 14 of 29 (48.3%) from long range. Lyndon held a 48-37 rebounding advantage but committed 21 turnovers to only 14 for the Cannoneers.
The Hornets will return to action with another non-conference game on December 4th. They will travel to Eastern Nazarene College for a 6:00 pm tip-off.